How to Better Your Performance Review

Most employees hate getting an annual performance review at work. It is an overly formal process, often far too structured and it usually consists of constructive criticism instead of praise. Yet performance reviews, and their larger friend the performance appraisal, do not have to be such nightmares. Re-think how you conduct your performance review and you’ll likely product better results. So wipe off that nervous sweat, and let’s take a look at some ideas.

Throw away your performance review template

Most performance reviews are created off of a template built about a decade ago. The vast majority of employers fail to understand how some creative thinking can have a real impact on the employee review process. A fresh approach to your reviews will provide accurate insight and analysis while inspiring your employees to work their hardest. Don’t jump right into a review without brainstorming how it should proceed. For example, if you’ve always had the employee sit in a room with his supervisor to discuss his performance, consider switching up the dynamic. Sometimes employees respond better when they are allowed to write up a personal review, lean on testimony of a co-worker or speak with someone who actually works in their department.

Get some real relative statistics

Don’t be afraid to go way outside of the box and perform a comparative review that judges the employee in the context of his peers’ performances. Generate as many statistics as you can to measure workplace performance. Then compare each employee’s performance to his co-workers and shape the review around those numbers. It’s also helpful to assess the review in comparison to a performance improvement plan that should be in place for each employee.

Take a step back

Or, scrap the traditional employee review formula altogether. Let the employee start out the meeting with a monologue that encapsulates his performance across the entire year. When you let employees lead the review process, they feel much more engaged and spirited about the evaluation.

Write it down

Alternatively, you could conduct an employee review strictly through written statements. Allow the employee time to write down his accomplishments and points for improvement. The employer can then review the employee’s arguments and respond with its own statement that builds upon what the employee wrote. The employer should pay careful attention to the performance review phrases he or she uses so that the feedback is constructive.

Keep them in the loop

Instead of holding an annual review for each employee, opt for biannual reviews or even quarterly reviews. Most employees feel more appreciated when they are offered regular feedback. It makes them feel as though their daily grind is really worth all the effort. You’ll soon realize just how much of a mistake it was to wait until the end of the year when the holidays rolled around to conduct your performance reviews. People take time off of work in December and January, so schedule your performance reviews before and after these months. So go ahead and buck convention by offering periodic reviews.

Take these tips and review your employees like you’ve never reviewed before. After you review your team, teach them how they can improve.  Find an easy way to teach them here.

Image source: Giphy

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