Top 10 Tips for Effective Performance Review

The first and foremost thing about a performance review that you must know is that ideally, it must be constructive, honest and two-way. Performance evaluation approaches and methods differ from one organisation to the other. However, universal principals regarding how to positively convey a good or a bad feedback to an employee about his/her performance do exist.

Do you want to know, how to exactly make your performance assessments a success story in your organisation? If your answer is yes then we have for you simple yet extremely effective performance evaluation tips to ensure a positive impact on your employees and keep them empowered and motivated.

  1. Setting Goals

Right from the beginning, it is important to set goals for the employees. You must ensure that all your employees are very well aware of what is expected from their performance. You must convey to every employee about, your measure and criteria of evaluation of an employee’s performance. Employees must be clear about their roles and responsibilities.

You must document the expectations and goals for an employee in a Job Plan format and share it with your employee for a better likelihood of the employee’s success. Always remember that written agreements are far more effective than verbal explanations.

  1. Avoid clouding of your judgment

For effective performance review, it is imperative that you ensure that your performance evaluation is not based on just the positives and the negatives of the recent times. You must take into consideration all the positive and negative events from the employee’s entire performance period. Sometimes in the light of recent events judgments are clouded.

A fair game would be where you record the impact and significant events such as completed projects and their good quality or a missed deadline, for the entire performance period. This documentation is called Critical Incident Report. You can request your employee to maintain a document too so that the performance discussions are more comprehensive and productive.

  1. 360-degree feedback

A 360-degree feedback is a very common and comprehensive performance evaluation approach that must be followed for effective results. 360-degree feedback format is one of the most holistic methods of recording feedback. This method needs you to acquire feedback about an employee from everybody who works closely with him/her such as his/her boss, colleagues, and subordinates.

This procedure will lead to a significant collection of employee performance information and helps you to make a better judgment and decision. Using informal conversations with the personnel’s involved is a good way to start. You must develop a format for this approach and follow it consistently.

  1. Self-Assessment

This is an employee centric performance review technique. Make your employee complete the self-assessment task. This makes the employee look at their own performance honestly. This technique also helps instil a sense of accountability and responsibility in an employee’s perspective. This makes your job easier.

  1. Prepare for the performance review discussion

You need to be very well prepared for performance review discussions because it is a very sensitive subject for every employee.  It is very helpful to identify and observe patterns and give enough examples. This will help you make your employee understand that what exactly is working well and where he/she needs to make an improvement. Maintaining documents throughout the performance period about key events, feedback and other measures of judgment should be of great help. Remember if you go to this meeting without being prepared, you can end up rubbing your employee the wrong way instead of making him/her feel motivated.

  1. Discuss the positive aspects first

Positivity is the key to every performance review meeting.  Usually, for most employees, you will have a list of positive feedback and negative feedback. So the trick here is that, highlight the positive aspects of his/her performances before you give your employee the negative feedback and highlight it more than the negative feedback. This will make the employee believe that he/she has done a good job but he/she needs to improve a little. This technique keeps your employee motivated. At the end of the negative feedback, make sure they feel that they have made a significant difference despite the shortcomings and they are more likely to do so in the times to come.

  1. Be mindful

Always keep in mind that negative feedback can actually release a number of emotions such as denial, panic, anger and frustration. Sometimes it takes a lot of time for an employee to digest negative feedback. So your job is to sweeten the knife and carefully handle the expected emotions. Only right choice of words can save the day.

  1. Include a plan of action

When you end the performance review meeting, end it by laying out a plan of action for your employee. If required lay out a development plan for him/her too. Remember to associate time scales to the objectives included in the plan of action and the development plan for better results.

  1. Make it a conversation

You must ensure that the performance review discussion is a two way and a balanced conversation where you lay out your perspective and let your employee tell you what he/she thinks. The more interactive this session becomes, the healthier it will be. Don’t just talk but also listen to your employee and consider his/her opinions if necessary.

  1. Hold A “How may I help you?” attitude

Last but not the least extend your helping hand and support towards your employee. Ask him/her if he/she needs any kind of help to improve. Let all your employees know that you are very approachable and available should they need any guidance. Also, question them about how you can personally help them to adequately succeed. This performance assessment technique actually instills a sense of comfort and sense of belonging in the minds of all employees, and that is a good thing.

If you follow these effective performance review tips, you are bound to retain and improve your staff for good. This will help your organisation develop better-skilled personnel with every session of an appropriate performance assessment.