In a previous blog post, we addressed how to set up your organization’s performance reviews for success. However, that post dealt with the planning of the reviews. In this post, we’re going to deal more with the execution of that plan.
That’s because formulating a plan is just the first step. No matter how good your plan might be, unless you execute it well, it’s all for naught.
With that in mind, below are five more tips for conducting superior performance reviews:
#1—Set a positive tone for the evaluation.
It’s important to start the meeting on the right foot and put the employee at ease. After all, this can be a high-stress situation. As a result, feel free to initiate some small talk prior to starting the review. Strive to make the employee feel more at ease before getting to the “meat” of the meeting.
#2—Discuss the employee’s strengths first.
Don’t just dive right in with all of the employee’s perceived shortcomings. That’s just going to put them on the defensive and make them reluctant to share their opinion and other information. Start first with those things that you believe the employee has done well since their last review. This will help to further build a positive atmosphere, so that you can move to the next phase: a discussion of their weaknesses and a plan for improving them.
#3—Cite specific instances and examples when addressing weaknesses.
It’s important that when you discuss weaknesses with an employee that you also cite specific examples. Don’t be vague; that won’t cut it. People don’t like to be criticized to begin with, so make sure that your criticism is constructive in nature.
#4—Set equally specific goals.
When setting goals for future production and performance, be sure to once again solicit feedback from the employee. Get them engaged in the process. Secure their “buy in” for whatever goals you set, identify action steps for achieving those goals, and set clear expectations and a timetable for doing so. It’s all about communication and clear expectations.
#5—End the evaluation on a high note.
You started the review in a positive fashion, so it only makes sense that you end it in the same way. Emphasize the fact that the person is valued as an employee (if that, indeed, is the case) and express your optimism regarding their standing with the organization. This is about motivating the employee as much as it is about evaluating them.
In actuality, employees should leave their reviews not only motivated, but also energized and excited about their future with your organization. This is how you boost their productivity and also retain them as valued members of your team.
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