If you want to measure employees’ productivity and impact, regular performance review comments are excellent. A performance review can also form the basis for any disciplinary actions or terminations that may be necessary.
While performance reviews may be very beneficial, they’re not something many employees or employees look forward to. Everyone knows it’s something that has to be done and it can highlight areas that need improvement as well as form the basis for employee recognition or promotions.
Why Performance Reviews are Important
Let’s look at some of the reasons why performance reviews are so important:
Improve Overall Performance
One of the clearest benefits of regular reviews is that they are an opportunity to improve the overall performance in the workplace. You’ll find areas that need attention and find solutions.
Increase Employee Engagement
Performance reviews can also increase engagement. An engaged employee will help your business evolve. Employees will think more about the company as a whole and how they fit in, and their ideas will lead to better decisions.
Identify Promotion Opportunities
If there’s a position in your company that needs to be filled, the perfect candidate could be right under your nose. When you review the performance of your staff regularly, it ensures you know the strengths and weaknesses of each member and whether they have the potential to fill specific positions within your organization.
Promoting from within increases employee morale, saves time, and can be better for your bottom line.
Identify Training Needs
Workplace learning shouldn’t stop once onboarding is completed. Employees may identify where they need additional training, but one of the surest ways to make sure your team is properly onboarded is with regular performance reviews. It will help you identify areas where new hires should receive more training or more experienced employees need refreshers.
Strengthen Relationships and Loyalty
Numerous demands on your time can prevent you from interacting with your employees regularly. By reviewing staff performance at least once a year, you’re intentionally setting aside time to talk in-depth with each team member. Such an opportunity, positively impacts your relationship with each staff member.
If you’re looking for some guidance on how you can get through the process unscathed, take note of the following tips.
Create and Track Measurable Goals
Lay a good foundation for the reviews early and you’ll reap the rewards. Start by creating company objectives and employee goals that are realistic, measurable, and have achievable deadlines. The acronym SMART is something that’s often used when drafting goals for performance reviews. SMART stands for:
- Specific: Be specific about the task and what actions are necessary in order to achieve the goal.
- Measurable: How will you track progress and mark its completion. Think about how you’ll collect data and record it.
- Achievable: Are the resources and skills there to make things happen?
- Relevant: Is the goal in line with broader organizational goals?
- Time-bound: How long will it take, and what is a good estimated completion date?
With clear goals in place, everyone knows what’s expected. However, it’s also important that your employees are behind you. Make sure you get their feedback and input.
Provide Continuous Feedback and Collect Documentation
You shouldn’t wait until an annual performance review to provide important feedback and suggestions. Employees appreciate knowing what you expect from them. If you give them the opportunity to make small adjustments between reviews it can boost productivity and morale.
If you find something worth noting, make sure to document it for later as you’ll find this makes it easier when it comes to summarizing employee performance.
Additional Performance Review Tips for Managers
If you establish specific and measurable goals and include regular check-ins, you’ll find the review itself much less stressful for all concerned.
Always be respectful to your employees and conduct reviews in private. Be clear about their achievements and give them honest feedback, both good and bad.
Here are a few more performance review tips for any managers who might still be feeling a little nervous:
- Honesty and transparency: These two values play a critical role in the performance review process.
- Reasonable adjustments: You may need to be prepared to offer reasonable adjustments so that employees can better achieve their goals. It might mean a more flexible schedule or a switch to a different project.
- Kind but firm: A review is not personal and should always be as objective and direct as possible, regardless of how much you might like a given employee as a person.
- Timely terminations: You should give an employee the opportunity to improve before you terminate their employment, but if someone needs to be terminated, don’t wait until the performance review date. Terminate their employment in a timely manner.
- Flexible goals: during the review period, you may find that goals change, just the same as company direction might shift. Always keep your employee goals updated.