In last week’s post, we discussed the differences between formal and informal performance reviews, and the importance of understanding what types of evaluations work best for your organization’s culture. Whichever performance evaluation system you opt to go with, there are some components of a performance review that should be included in any evaluation, formal or informal. 

Consider including some of the following elements as a part of your review process:

  • Give Honest and Constructive Feedback – Especially if your employee has areas they need to improve upon, giving criticism can be difficult. That being said, it is an important part of the review process. When discussing past mistakes and areas to improve, be clear and direct and focus on providing and agreeing on solutions to those issues. The majority of employees genuinely want to work hard and improve performance; well delivered and constructive feedback can help them reach their goals in a productive and effective manner.
  • A Comprehensive Balance – Focus on the good as well as the bad. A well written and delivered performance review shouldn’t be all gold stars and roses, nor should it completely focus on the employee’s faults. Balance out praise for a job well done and commendation for excellent performance with constructive criticism and make certain that all feedback is relevant and detailed.
  • Set Goals and Performance Objectives – Any performance appraisal should include a section on goal setting. Some organizations focus strictly on essential functions and job duties, while others focus more on professional development. Whatever the approach to goal setting, work with the employee to establish and implement these goals. Their involvement with the goal setting portion of their review can prove to be incredibly beneficial in their accountability in reaching those goals.
  • Implement Regular Meetings – Set follow-up meetings on a regular basis to discuss progress towards any goals you have set, whether that be a plan to advance knowledge and skills, or a performance improvement plan. Meeting with your employees on an informal, casual basis to discuss progress can help increase morale and keeps your employees motivated.
  • Always End on  Positive Note – It is vital that you encourage your employees and let them know how much they are appreciated. By focusing on positive reinforcement and ending any review on a positive note, you are ensuring that your employees feel valued which in turn, increases loyalty.

Performance reviews don’t have to be an overly hectic and stressful duty as a manager. Focus on clear and honest communication, setting mutually beneficial goals, and set a priority of building respectful and productive relationships with your employees. A positive outlook and objectives as you work through this process can help ensure that your employees possess the tools and confidence they need to excel in their jobs, which in turn, helps you thrive as a manager.