Does your employee know where he stands with regard to his job performance? If so, how does he know? As a good manager you should never assume that an employee knows how well, or how poorly, he is doing his job. You must actually communicate your evaluation of his performance directly to the employee. But what is the most effective method of doing so?
Enter the employee performance review. Some managers might see the performance review as an inconvenient requirement, and so they quickly write them in order to check the task off their list of HR-required duties. Other managers would like to write well-thought-out reviews but just don’t feel that they have the time to do it properly. Remember to schedule enough time in your calendar to give each employee the review that he deserves.
Before entering the performance review process, it’s important to understand and appreciate the value of this communication tool for both the employee and the company. One of my colleagues who practiced HR for over twenty years told me that the performance review process is one of few times you get to sit down with your employee and tell them how much they mean to the company. She advised me to “make that moment count!” Pausing to tell an employee how they personally contribute to the success of an organization not only empowers the employee but also benefits the company.
Here are some ways to ensure an effective performance review process:
- Don’t wait until review time to try to remember what your employee has done throughout the year. Make notes or save emails as your employee meets or exceeds expectations, or misses an important goal. In many cases, immediate communication to the employee will be necessary but still keep a record of these occurrences to recount during the review-writing stage.
- Do not over commit. Determine the number of performance review cycles for your business. For some companies, quarterly or semi-annual reviews are not realistic for their workload. It’s better to have one good, well-planned performance review than two or three ones without substance.
- Make sure your performance review form aligns with your employee job description. In addition to holding employees within the same role to the same standard, you want to make sure that the performance expectations have been communicated to the employee in advance.
- Schedule time to have a conversation with the employee to deliver the review. Have the performance review completed ahead of time, but make sure this is an interactive process. Encourage the employee to share his/her thoughts and feelings about the feedback while you are there to respond.