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How to write a great Performance Review?

December 6, 2018 · employee engagement, performance reviews,

A recent survey done by BizMerlin proves that quarterly or semi-annual performance reviews are more effective than annual performance reviews. Performance reviews need not be attached to the appraisal process rather should be focused more to mentor and correct the performance of an employee and in doing so allow the team members to be more efficient. For this reason, it is critical for any manager writing performance reviews to know what they should include and what they shouldn’t include in a performance review.

 

A performance review needs to highlight certain work traits of the employee as well as the need for improvement. With the following tips, you can write a great performance review. Managers writing a performance review for the very first time should incorporate the following into their review:

  1. Achievement—Phrase (s) that highlights what the employee has achieved at work
  2. Communication Skills—A few words on the ability to communicate effectively or (the lack thereof)
  3. Creativity—Highlight the creative ability of the employee using specific examples and results
  4. Improvement—Highlight any improvement seen in the employee’s work or in a very subtle way, communicate any improvement that the employee may need in their work (if needed).
  5. Management Ability—Incorporate phrases that highlight the employee’s leadership skills and ability to delegate work. This will motivate them to keep up the good work.
  6. Teamwork Skills—Highlight their ability to work with a team
  7. Time Management—Highlight their ability to manage their time effectively or (the lack thereof)
  8. Dependability—Highlight that the team/company can always depend on the employee in a time of need
  9. Interpersonal Skills—This is very important to highlight whether the employee has great interpersonal skills or is completely lacking in them.
  10. Technical Ability—This is applicable if the employee does a technical job.
  11. Ability to Satisfy Customers—This applies to any employee with a direct interaction with the customers.

Of course, not all of the above will apply to all your employees. However, you should get the point and that is that a performance review should highlight some or all (if applicable) of the employee traits mentioned above.

But what do you do with a  good performance review? Do you save it in excel sheet or a document? No, after all this sweat of hiring and mentoring a good team, the organization must invest in the best performance appraisal software. The best performance appraisal software will not only provide the organization with a good scoring platform, appraisal templates, feedback system but also the opportunity to consolidate the reviews. The best performance appraisal software will also allow bringing transparency to the process and compliance in the organization.

What should the managers say or not say in Your Performance Review?

Say, you manage Ryan—a 57-year old employee whose work productivity has declined significantly in the past one year. Now, while writing a performance review, most managers would be quick to give certain specific, measurable examples that show the decline in Ryan’s productivity levels.
A very bad review may read something like, “Ryan no longer has the energy needed to reach the productivity levels required by the team/department.”

What will Ryan make of this? He will feel that he is being deliberately targeted because of his age. Even if that is not the case, the above performance review will give Ryan a reason to complain about age discrimination and not do anything about his shortcomings at work. These are statements that highlight a person’s demeanor instead of their work and can be easily interpreted by the person being reviewed as some sort of prejudice or discrimination against them. Secondly, convey the shortcomings of the employee but in a subtle way. Following is an example of how a well-written performance review would read:

Ryan has successfully completed most of the tasks assigned to him during the year. The only advise for him would be to be a little more involved in the product idea generation and product development process. Everything else is on point.”

Of course, a performance review would be longer than just a couple of lines. The above is just to give an example of what the wording in a performance review should be. With this knowledge and the performance reviews of BizMerlinHR, writing performance reviews that encourage employees to keep up their performance or overcome their shortcomings at work will no longer be a problem.

What are the features of the top employee performance review software?

The top employee performance review software must possess following five features:

  1. 360 Review – Before signing up for any performance review software, make sure that it allows 360 reviews to include self, peer supervisor and direct report reviews.
  2. Unlimited Reviewers – Another point to consider is to check the number of reviewers they allow because the top performance review software allows unlimited reviewers.
  3. Customizable dashboards – A good performance review software provides a customizable dashboard for you to see what is most important for you.
  4. Library of templates – A good performance review software must provide the library of templates to create the reviews.
  5. Integrated with goals – A good performance review software is well integrated with the goal management system.