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How to Get the Most Out of Employee Reviews

How to Get the Most Out of Employee Reviews on ahabusinessconsulting.com6 tips for increasing the value of employee reviews

Employee reviews can be stressful – on both sides of the desk. Walking the line between criticism and insult can feel like a high-wire circus act. Professionalism lays the foundation for just how effective a review will be.

Crafting the perfect employee review

While perfection is surely in the eyes of the beholder, there are certain agreed-upon truths within all realities. When it comes to employee reviews, perfect could be defined as evolutionary. The goal of a review is growth, for the employee, the manager, and the company. So, how do you create an employee review strategy that works?

  1. Identify your goals ASAP. If a video editor thinks she needs to be cranking out as many social media videos as she can, when you rather she focused on quality, you’re taking two steps back and one step forward at review time. If she was already concentrating on the edit, not the posting numbers, the review could be about what matters most, rather than correcting the misconception.
  2. Take the time to develop a review process. When a tool gets in the way of the job you need it to do, it’s probably not the right gadget for the task. A carefully planned, intuitive, fit for your company’s needs, review procedure will streamline the process and help mitigate the awkwardness of a difficult review.
  3. It’s not a surprise party. If you haven’t been sharing your expectations and feedback with your team members all along, don’t surprise them with new information on the performance review day. Effective performance reviews are geared toward improving future performance and growth, not rehashing the past. Use tools, like performance scorecards, to communicate expectations and performance on a more regular basis and leave the review time for deeper discussions about growth opportunities.
  4. Separate salary from the performance. Pay attention – we’re about to contradict ourselves. Keep performance meetings about just that: performance. Compensation is important, so is the work. Even in commission-based positions, the paycheck is rarely, if ever, a component of their duties.
  5. Don’t neglect the meeting. Block out up to an hour where you can devote your full attention to meeting for the review. When it comes to constructive feedback, focus on the behaviors themselves rather than any negative/emotional reactions. Have a conversation on the best way to change the behavior. Ask your team member how you can help them.
  6. Consider starting with a self-assessment. Asking an employee to gauge their own performance can be a useful springboard towards praise or feedback. Just be mindful to make sure you’re not making them feel as if they’re being trapped. A form you both use individually can help relieve some of the pressure and provide insightful comparisons.

When the results reveal an inevitability

In the arena of employee-manager interactions, there’s only one thing more stressful than a bad review: a termination. Separating what’s best for the company from what’s best for the employee can lead to a confusing fork in the road. If you’d like to learn about letting an employee go, check out our recent newsletter, “When is it time to make a change.”

It’s important to use employee reviews to their full potential for your employees and business to grow. Contact us to discuss the Everything DiSC products and training that works best for your business’ needs.

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