The Power of Performance Reviews

November 24, 2014

As the year is winding down (can you believe Thanksgiving is this week?!) most of us are thinking about what we’ve done over the past year and what’s next for 2015. This also means it's time for  performance reviews. Instead of dreading this yearly ritual, here are a few ways to use it as an opportunity to give employees an honest review of their work and contributions, as well as motivation for the future:

Nothing should be a surprise. One of the keys to an effective performance review is working at it continuously. Regular check-ins throughout the year allow you and your employee to be on the same page with progress on goals and any performance issues. Ideally, the year-end performance review should be a summary of those discussions so both you and your employee know what to expect.

Prepare. Have specific examples of behavior to illustrate your points. Being able to share specific examples allows your employee to see themselves from an outside perspective and will allow for a more productive conversation recognizing what positive behaviors have been observed and what changes need to be made in the future.

Hear what they have to say. Prior to the performance review, give a self-evaluation to give an opportunity to share the areas where they feel they are excelling and where they need some improvements. Having a chance to see how they view themselves and their work can help you shape your review and plan for the conversation.

Have your employee review YOU. Whether it's a formal assessment or just a casual conversation, giving your employee an opportunity to share what they like about your management style and how you can do better makes them feel that they are valued and their opinions are important. This helps you as a manager to know what you can do to best support your employee so they can excel going forward.

Talk about next steps. Take time to discuss the immediate future- goals for the upcoming year, areas of improvement- and the long-term plan. For the employee, knowing the specific steps they need to take to move up in the company can be a great motivator and together you can build a roadmap to get there.

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