5 Tips for Conducting Successful Employee Performance Reviews

Posted August 23, 2018

Performance reviews are an important aspect of a boss or manager's job. Speaking honestly and constructively to your employees helps them, and your company, grow. Regularly addressing your employees' performance at work - the good and the bad - is something you should do regularly to maintain the most productive office possible. To have a successful performance reviews strategy, it's best to take time to think about how you want to structure these meetings with employees. Below, we've outlined a few tips to help you and your managers hold effective performance reviews.

1. Prepare!

Never walk into an employee's performance review without preparing. Take time to assess their specific role, what they've done well and what they could improve on, and genuinely look at the work they've done with a critical eye. A good performance review should help an employee grow and learn how to better serve the company, and that won't happen if you walk into the review blindly. Be sure you give your employees the preparation and time they deserve, and they're sure to reciprocate.

2. Choose the right location

The location of performance reviews will help dictate how the meeting goes. Because you'll be sharing sensitive and potentially difficult thoughts with your employees, the location should be private and there should be as few distractions as possible. Choose a neutral conference or meeting room and leave your phone and other distractions at your desk. Giving employees your undivided attention will allow them to focus and better understand all of your comments and critiques.

3. Start with the positives

To put your employees at ease and help them relax a bit (they will be nervous!), start each review with the positives. List their achievements, give praise for projects or tasks well done, and thank them for their hard work. From there, you can move onto any criticisms or negative things you'd like to discuss, and remember to be as professional and specific as possible. It will be hard for employees to hear what they're doing wrong. By keeping emotion out of the meeting and avoiding generalizing, which can lead to confusion, they will better understand what you need from them moving forward.

4. Let employees ask questions and give feedback

A good performance review should allow not only for a manager to talk, but for the employee to ask questions and give feedback, as well. Let them work through the constructive criticism with you so they fully grasp what you're saying and how best to tackle it. Work together to find ways that they can improve in their job, and allow them to provide any feedback they may have about their role.

5. End on a high note

Be sure to end the meeting on a positive note - maybe save one of the positive aspects of their performance for the end of the meeting, or ask them further about their career aspirations and what they want to achieve with your company. Ending a performance review on a high note - especially one that focused more on the negative than the positive - will remind your employees that you're a team and that you're always rooting for them.

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