Employee performance reviews are not what they used to be. Not too long ago, managers gave employee performance reviews reluctantly. They did not like the paperwork, so they said. However, they dreaded the personal confrontation. While the employee half-listened, ready to argue, the manager reviewed a checklist of duties and outcomes. Inevitably, the manager and employee got upset about the ratings and the size of the raise offered at the end. But things have changed. Effective performance reviews require a shift in mindset for employees and managers. Managers conduct reviews more frequently and frame them as adult conversations. Employees listen better and engage in the dialog effectively.
People have improved the entire performance review experience following these six tips:
1. Make performance reviews strategic
Scheduling performance assessments on a calendar leave employees stressed and anxious. Managers delay meetings for a dozen reasons and conduct annual reviews because the organization requires them.
However, today’s manager leaders conduct effective performance reviews as frequently as performance warrants. For example, if a team or employee has recently completed a quality project, they deserve a sit-down meeting at that time. If performance has been low, it makes sense to address it at that moment.
Linking the timing of the review to the achievement of organizational goals requires immediate attention. While the moment’s situation may trigger the periodic review, it also provides opportunities for an honest conversation on expectations, metrics, and key objectives.
2. Leverage the analytics, metrics, and evidence
Managers should not call for performance reviews without holding the best hand. They need the performance facts to keep the focus on the work. They need supportive evidence if they hope to leverage continued and increased performance.
However, achievement relies on measurements. “Simply put, an objective is what needs to be achieved.” It also requires real-time measurements only top-shelf HCM systems can support. No one finds value in covering something measured six months prior.
3. Improve the culture and mindset
Managers must do their best to craft a civil, level playing field for communication. This works best in psychologically safe environments. Employee performance reviews prove most effective when prepared and conducted as conversations.
Good managers communicate purposefully. They give notice of the meeting and its objectives. And they welcome the employee with an openness that respects the worker’s position, skills, and talents. Beyond this welcome, the meeting should encourage open dialogue and feedback on duties, expectations, and metrics.
4. Empower feedback
Managers should present several opportunities for employees to give their understanding of goals, responsibilities, and accountabilities. They deserve the chance, and strategic managers will utilize and integrate the feedback where they can or offer clear messages regarding the inputs where they cannot.
Feedback is “a reciprocal conversation, an exchange aimed at fixing, improving, or devising a solution.” soliciting feedback shows respect for the employee. Often it produces vital information. And feedback provides evidence of a collaborative climate and mindset.
5. Feed the future
Managers should train employees on the purpose, style, and results of performance reviews. Catch employees early in their training and development, and they can learn to prepare for productive management conversations.
Managers and employees can use the time for planning “where we go from here.” Such conversations avoid dissecting the past in favor of designing a future for the worker, team, and organization.
6. Spend time building trust
Ill-prepared and carelessly conducted performance assessments destroy an employee’s trust and confidence in the manager and organization. No one appreciates management that criticizes and diminishes performance.
Performance conversations can build and sustain trust. Employees must feel welcome to the manager’s undivided attention. They must sense that management wants their input and constructive feedback. And they appreciate purposeful, transparent engagement on metrics.
A final tip for writing an effective performance review –
Management should invest in sophisticated HCM software that facilitates, improves, and redirects the performance review experience. BizMerlinHR’s Performance Review system displays an engaging, customizable dashboard allowing managers to invite 360 Reviews from multiple raters.
This software manages Unlimited Reviewers, offers a Library of Templates, and remains Integrated with Goals as it interfaces with HRIS. And it aids management with automated notations and reminders, batched performance reviews, and streamlined compensation management.