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4 Tips on How to Have the Best Employee Reviews Ever

by Tim AustinDecember 31, 2013 9:10 AM

Conducting an employee review is one of the most disliked tasks among managers and business owners. However, these evaluation opportunities are critical in retaining good employees, motivating employees to remain productive and maintaining a good relationship with your staff. 

Before you sit down to complete your laundry list of assessment points, consider the following tips to help your employee reviews be more effective than ever:

Listen

 

Listening is an essential part of the employee review process.

While it is tempting to run down the list of “grades” the employee has earned throughout the year, engaging in an open discussion is the best form of evaluation. Instead of leading with the company form, ask your employee about their performance throughout the year, the problems and challenges they have encountered and how they overcame those obstacles. Carefully listen to your employee to help solve their work-related problems and create goals for the coming year. 

 

Leave the money out…for now

Conduct separate meetings for performance and compensation discussions. If performance is discussed with the yearly bonus or raise “elephant in the room,” your employee may be more defensive about any constructive criticism you have to offer. Instead of using the meeting as a compensation conversation, structure your review as a developmental strategy session. This shift in focus allows you and your employee to talk about what steps can be taken to mutually improve while trying to achieve company and personal goals. Set a separate day to go over compensation or bonus topics to allow you both to focus on, and get the most value from, the performance review. 

Honesty

Even though it sounds like common sense, many employers struggle with being straightforward with their staff during evaluations. Whether it’s done to avoid confrontation or an uncomfortable conversation, not being completely honest will prevent your employee from making necessary improvements and could make firing the employee in the future difficult. When tackling an area that needs to be improved by the employee, focus on the issue, not the person. By providing this type of feedback, you can effectively address areas of weakness while building a strategy for improved performance. 

Provide guidance and set goals

As mentioned above, it is critical to lay out some measurement of performance for overall productivity measurement and future reviews. As an employer, you are the coach of your organization. Look closely at each employee and define a work strategy that capitalizes on their strengths while defining opportunities to build upon their areas of weakness. Having mutual goals for both you and your employee help create a more productive and open environment. 

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