Performance reviews are an essential part of any business, ensuring that managers and employees get together on a regular basis to discuss how the worker is impacting the organization, both positively and negatively. They lay the groundwork for future improvements and help cement habits that are proven to be effective. But, just because performance reviews are common practice, that doesn’t mean they are inherently easy.
Many companies struggle with developing effective and efficient approaches and procedures for annual reviews. If suitable standards are not defined, it could lead to poor encounters and subpar results. To help you get your performance reviews into tip-top shape, here are three tips for improving your process.
Delivering a Negative Review
Not every worker is guaranteed to be a model employee at all times. Some will encounter temporary struggles while others will seem to miss the mark consistently. Regardless of the length of time at which they have underperformed, sharing bad news needs to be done with care. This ensures that the ultimate outcome is a path to improvement and not just a platform for sharing criticism.
If you must deliver a negative review, make sure that each point you make is clear and well-defined. It is wise to provide evidence or share specific examples with the worker as this is easier to understand based on the presence of context. When the feedback is too vague, the employee will find it difficult to attach the information to specific actions, so they won’t know precisely which of their activities need to improve. Managers also need to make sure not to insult the staff member as a person. Instead, they should express their confidence in the worker’s ability to improve and then open a discussion regarding what steps need to be taken to resolve the issue.
Setting Realistic Goals
Most performance reviews, whether positive or negative, also include conversations about goals for the upcoming year. While having your employees strive to reach the stars may seem wise, an unattainable target can actually be disheartening, harming morale, increasing stress, and possibly leading them to give up early in the process.
Instead, make sure any goals are attainable with a reasonable amount of effort. This can help create a source of motivation, particularly when you request their input before they are set in stone.
Planning for Follow Up
Once negative points are addressed (and clear steps are provided for improvement), and goals are set, then it’s wise to create a follow-up plan with the employee to help you both monitor their forward progress. This could include weekly emails where the worker touches base with their manager, monthly face-to-face meetings, or quarterly reviews.
By planning for follow up, you create a structure that guides everyone’s actions. Additionally, if their progress is slow, you can discuss it in a timely manner, making adjustments to the plan as needed. This prevents a scenario where issues carry on for longer than they should simply because no one intervened until the following annual review, a system that practically sets the employee up for failure if they are struggling. However, by staying on top of things, everyone can come together to work toward mutual success, which is usually the preferred outcome for all parties involved.
If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your performance review process, the team at Contemporary Staffing Services can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today.