3 Great Tips for Better Performance Reviews

Not all employers provide performance reviews. But for those that do, a little preparation up front helps make the process more beneficial for everyone. Consider how proper planning and increasing the structure around the process can improve it.

Using these 3 tips can dramatically improve performance reviews:

1. Set clear expectations from the outset. Performance reviews should assess employee performance against specific criteria. To be effective, employees must be aware of the criteria used.  For example, if a cosmetic manager knows that she will be evaluated on how much anti-anti-aging serum is sold during the first quarter, she can craft a plan that supports this goal. If she has no idea, she may be more focused on customer service or getting inventory right. Also, if an employee is new, describe the lay of the land and exactly what kinds of behavior will help or hurt performance. If the employee is a veteran, discuss strengths and weaknesses and give them something to work towards prior to the performance review. An environment that supports open communication and cooperation is key and will encourage employees to eagerly participate in and support the goals of performance reviews.

2. Allow the employee to actively participate in the process. At the beginning of the performance year, allow employees to rate overall performance. This will allow them to take inventory on how well they think they are currently doing. Later, both employee and employer can compare notes to the official performance review. Additionally, allow employees to read the performance review in advance of the official meeting. Then, during the face to face meeting, both the employer and employee can ask plenty of questions that delve into the meat of the review. Lastly, following the review, allow employees to draft a plan for improving performance. If they need help identifying how to improve, challenge them, but provide adequate resources that will support their development.

3. Give regular updates throughout the year. Don’t simply wait to “purge” evaluations at symbolic intervals. Implement a mechanism that allows for regular feedback so that both employee and employer can take ownership of factors that influence performance. If you are regularly keeping track of what’s happening throughout the year, you create more opportunities to positively impact performance. You can also correct behaviors that diminish the value of overall positive contributions.

Consider using these tips to plan for better performance reviews in your organization!

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. CS, is the Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport (www.wordsmithrapport.com). Follow her on Twitter @WSRapport. On Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/wordsmithrapport.com. Photo Credit: stockimages via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Karima Mariama-Arthur

Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport (www.wordsmithrapport.com), a boutique consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. which specializes in professional development. She consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high-performance leadership competence.

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