How to get the most out of employee performance reviews

Most trade business owners cringe at the mention of employee performance reviews. In the employee’s mind, a review equals a pay rise.

In some cases, conducting performance reviews can be a good opportunity to let staff know they’re not performing to standard. They have the chance to ‘up’ their game.

Whatever the case, you need to prepare for each review. It will make the most out of your time and you’ll get the best result from your employee.

Be well-prepared before the performance review

At the end of the day, you’re spending your time preparing for (and hosting) the review. You want to get the most out it.

Business owners often create an evaluation form only and conduct an improvised performance review. Key points are likely to be missed. Your employee will see straight through it, which will cause them to feel undervalued.

To prepare, make sure you’ve got your thoughts, key points (feedback and what can be improved), evaluation and steps of action in place before going into the review.

Be mindful of the words and phrases you’re using

The goal of a performance review is to make the employee become aware of how they’re performing whether or not they are amazing, or not so great. It is important the review doesn’t discourage them or cause them to think negatively about yourself or the business.

Ideally, you should encourage the employee to improve their performance while discussing their unproductive habits using the right words and phrases.

Use positive language as much as possible. For example, you could say, “You’re doing a great job on X task; however, I’m confident that with steps of action, we can work together towards you improving on Y task”.

As you can observe, the use of empowering language works well. It reinforces the notion you’re there to support the employee, keeps the tone of the conversation positive.

Be specific with your feedback

Avoid vague words such as “never” or “always” since it can create confusion. Saying something like, “You never submit the reports on time”, can make the employee defensive and discouraged since it seems like he/she never does anything right.

Being specific, for example, “You didn’t submit the reports on time on X and Y date”, ensures that you’ve done your research about the employee and allows you to be justifiable with your corrections.

Get feedback from other staff

Aside from your own assessment, you should also get feedback from other employees. Ask an employee’s supervisor and co-workers to gain more knowledge about their performance. You can request the employee’s supervisor and co-workers to answer a peer performance evaluation sheet. This is a great way to know more about the work attitude and behaviour of the employee.

Using the tips above, you can ensure you’re prepared and can make sure everyone is on the same page.

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