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Print Posted by SMEA Posted on 13/09/2017 in HR

Performance Reviews: Are you prepared?

Performance Reviews: Are you prepared?

If you have employees, there is a very high likelihood that you will conduct performance reviews. The annual process of meeting with your team individually and discussing their performance through the past year. They are essential tools, for both managers and employees. And in many ways, they are dreaded by both.

Having to critique someone is often difficult, but as a manager, it is part of the toolbox. Providing good (and bad) feedback, analysing how they are progressing and performing, is part of the role and responsibilities of management. Often though, some managers do not know how to best handle them.

Whatever your feeling towards them, whether you find them daunting or not, here are some tips to improve your performance reviews and get the most out of them, both for your business and for your employee.

  • Prepare. – You probably expect your employees to prepare, so why shouldn’t you have the same expectation of yourself? Familiarise yourself with their achievements and performance during the year. Have a list of things you want to discuss and plan out the discussion. It will help facilitate the conversation and keep it moving.

  • Be Positive, but don’t forget the negative. –  The review is not just about all the good things that the employee did, it is also about the things that went not so well. Make sure you balance out the positive with the negative. You want to fix the problems, but you also want to emphasize what went well and work on improving the things that the employee needs to do better.

  • Keep the conversation two-sided. – The review is a two-way conversation. Don’t do all the talking. Engage with the employee, solicit their feedback on how they think they are going, what they feel they can do better, and what they have found have negatively impacted their performance. Use the opportunity to get feedback about your business as well as how the employee is doing their job.

  • Follow up. – After the review is over, follow up with a summary of the review and the action plan for the next year for the employee. If you have set specific targets, ensure that they are clear to everyone and that you have both implemented the plan to reach them.

  • Increase the frequency. – Don’t just touch base with your team once a year, keep the interaction more frequent. This will help you head off any decline in performance or issues quickly, as well as convey praise. It will help avoid resentfulness and improve your workplace culture.

Love them or hate them, performance reviews are essential to the ongoing success of your team. Whilst some look at them with trepidation and dread, manager and employee, done right, they should not hold any real surprises for either. They can be used to enforce positivity in your workplace, and address the negative proactively.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the time, but it is an essential part of a successful business to ensure you are getting the most out of your employees, and them out of you!

The SME Association of Australia provides a comprehensive platform for the collaboration of businesses, organisations, associations, schools, higher education bodies and government to ensure SMEs are equipped to connect, grow and prosper. Find out more at http://www.smea.org.au/. Join our SME Community, follow us on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn and subscribe to our podcast SME Radio

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