Giving performance reviews is an essential part of being the boss. Most likely, this isn’t your favorite responsibility, as it can be tedious and awkward, but when properly administered, it can bring you closer to your employees.
Millennials crave feedback and baby boomers shy away from it, so chances are, your staff is a mix of both. Find out how to structure your performance review process so it’s beneficial and pleasant for everyone.
5 Tips to Give a Winning Performance Review
1. Provide a Copy in Advance
The performance review shouldn’t be the first time the employee sees your feedback. Give them a copy of the document a few days in advance, so they have time to gather their thoughts. This will give them the chance to come up with any questions they have about your remarks, goals set for the year ahead, and anything else they want to discuss.
2. Clearly Explain How Performance is Evaluated
A performance review is only useful if employees understand how you came to specific conclusions about their work. Get on the same page by clearly explaining your evaluation method, so it doesn’t just seem like you scored them at random.
3. Give Specific Examples
Help employees know what they’re doing right and where they can improve by highlighting specific examples of their work. This provides a clear basis of your expectations and allows them to know exactly what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
4. Applaud Positive Behavior
You want people to come away from a performance review feeling good about their work and their place at the company. Spend time really focusing on the person’s contributions since their last review and reasons you’re glad they’re part of the team. It’s certainly alright — and encouraged — to address areas for improvement, but give the meeting an overall positive tone.
5. Have a Real Conversation
A performance review should be a dialogue between you and the employee, so don’t spend the entire meeting talking at them. Ask what you and/or the company can be doing better to support them, discuss the goals you’ve set for them, and find out the frequency of feedback they’d prefer in the future.
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