The Importance of Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are crucial to your employee’s development and success. These are formal opportunities to observe someone’s development over time. You get a chance to acknowledge their achievements, celebrate their successes, and offer guidance for any challenges they’re facing.
Many employees dread performance reviews because they’re terrified of being told they’re bad at their jobs. HR personnel should take extra steps to ensure that the experience is a positive one and leaves the employee motivated.
The Benefits of Performance Management
A well-executed performance review can show employees that you care about their careers. Lack of performance management can signal that your organization isn’t interested in how people feel in their jobs. And when people feel like their organization doesn’t care, they don’t either.
Given the major wave of “quiet quitting” sweeping through U.S. companies, it’s clear that people need to feel more engaged and acknowledged.
In addition to boosting productivity, performance reviews can also increase motivation, and help ensure the long-term success of your organization.
Tips for Conducting Good Performance Reviews
Below are 5 steps HR teams can use to carry out performance reviews with their companies. These strategies will help you perform reviews that feel personal and serve as a valuable learning opportunity in each employee’s career.
1. Set Clear Goals From the Beginning
Make sure that you know exactly what behaviors you want to assess. Have clear metrics in place that make measuring performance purposeful. The best way to look at performance review metrics is to consider your company’s key indicators of success.
What does it mean if someone is doing their job well?
If you aren’t sure, look at their role. What are its key responsibilities and duties? Are these being carried out efficiently? Are they creating a positive impact on the company, customers, and colleagues?
Before you start reviews, ask these questions:
- Does this employee do what they need to do?
- Are they using their time and resources efficiently?
- Do they take initiative, and show willingness to grow in their current position?
You should also look for two to three achievements in the last review period you can bring up during the interview. If people aren’t achieving new things, like completing projects or making sales, then it’s important to figure out why.
2. Focus on Behaviors, Not Personality
Performance reviews can be ineffective if they’re too personal. People who feel as though they’re being condemned or attacked will close themselves off to learning. The goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad about who they are, or incompetent in their role. Instead, your focus should be on identifying behaviors people exhibit, and how they help or hinder their growth.
Most importantly, focus on behaviors important to success. You should be helping employees develop the skills they need to thrive and offer the greatest benefit to the company.
3. Use Qualitative and Quantitative Data
You can use quantitative data from an employee’s performance to support qualitative assessments. When discussing things like leadership or initiative, it can be helpful to highlight your stance using direct figures from someone’s job.
For example, if a marketer isn’t communicating well in their position, you could draw from their work to illustrate that.
Clarify Roles for Clearer Career Objectives
Use performance reviews to help employees see where they fit into your organization’s “big picture.” Reminding people of their value can help inspire motivation, and encourage them to focus on positive changes, too.
Make sure that the behavioral metrics and standards you set are fair to everyone, regardless of their position in the hierarchy.
The best way to make sure that you’re setting fair performance standards is to create a culture of collaboration. Encourage employees at all levels to have honest conversations about what they need, and work together to make your company a better place to be.