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August 13, 2014

How to Use the Dreaded Performance Review

Performance reviews are usually a dreaded meeting for both employee and manager.  Historically, a performance review insinuates a dedicated time for the employee to hear what they need to do better or do more of, instead of hearing praise and appreciation for the work they have done.
What if, instead of the negative connotation associated with performance reviews, you were able to turn them into positive, useful discussions about the good work the employee is doing and the great impact they have on the organization?  This topic of utilizing performance reviews to better the employee and organization was discussed in a recent Forbes article, “How to Make Performance Reviews Relevant.” The more input available for the employee, the more productive the review will be.  Employees want to be recognized (not just monetarily) for the work they are doing, which is sometimes more than the manager may even realize.
The article gives seven tips to make performance reviews more meaningful for you and your employees. Summarized they are:

  1. Be prepared – the review should not just consider the past month of the employee’s performance, but the entire year, or since the last review.
  2. Hold private discussions – make the employee feel comfortable, and have the discussion in a closed-door area.
  3. Have an agenda – this will help put the employee at ease by letting them know what to expect during the discussion.
  4. Talk with them not at them – allow a two-way discussion and listen to the employee’s point of view
  5. Show appreciation of their work – not praising employees when and where credit is due, may lead to the loss of them.  Reward them for great work as generously as you are able.
  6.  There’s always room for improvement – of course recognize the employee’s work, but also discuss where they could improve, and set a plan to get them on track.
  7. End on the same page – make sure to reach a mutual understanding on upcoming goals, objectives and development plans before closing the review.

These courses provide great refresher material and offer great advice for managers having to give performance reviews for the first time:

How does your workplace use performance reviews?

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