4 Tips for Employee Performance Reviews That Actually Work
Annual reviews can be pointless exercises. Here’s how to give feedback that boosts performance and reduces turnover.
Performance reviews are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of your employees and look forward to what they can accomplish in the next year. However, many companies do not use this important occasion to its full potential. So here are four tips to get better results for your company.
1. Begin with Performance Alignment
It is mission critical for your employees to know how their individual efforts align with your organization’s objectives. Start by creating a job scorecard for your employee or reviewing an existing one. A scorecard helps set job expectations, reinforces your employee’s impact on the organization, and aligns with their core responsibilities and key performance indicators so they feel more focused and empowered.
2. Review Their Accomplishments
Looking back on the accomplishments and progress your employee has made over the last year can be encouraging and rewarding. But if you have a 12-month review cycle, it’s easy to forget what happened at the beginning of the year and only focus on what’s fresh in your mind. To combat this, keep a running list of each employee’s notable accomplishments. When you see or hear something positive, quickly jot down the date, performance comments and an example. When review time rolls around, you’ll struggle less with details and phrasing your performance review.
3. Be Detailed and Specific, Especially About Improvement
When reviewing employee performance, never talk about an area of improvement without offering an example. General statements like, “Your attitude hasn’t been great,” are not effective. Say something concrete like, “I heard you make a passive-aggressive comment during our team huddle,” or “I noticed you showed up late to work five times this month,” or “You missed your target goal on our project by 20%.” Specifics allow you to discuss the exact outcome that is needed.
4. Check In Often
The classic once-a-year evaluation is still valuable but it should not be the only occasion for employees to get feedback. Weekly or monthly check-ins allow you to fix potential issues before they escalate or to validate an employee’s work, which can help motivate the employee and improve productivity. Gallup reported in 2011 that a study of 65,672 employees showed continuous strength-based feedback reduced employee turnover by 14.9% compared with employees who did not receive strengths feedback.
A better performance review starts with you. When you improve your skills in delivering constructive feedback and better performance reviews, your employees have a better chance of improving too.