What to remember when reviewing staff
Staff reviews can be dreaded affairs for reviewer and reviewee alike. But staff reviews are among the most important tools that a business owner or manager has at their disposal for tracking progress and identifying issues in the workplace. Before you enter into the review process with your staff, keep these tips in mind to get the most out of the staff review process.
Before the review
An employee’s review is time that is dedicated to their performance in your company during the year, but it should not be the only time in which the employee receives feedback on how they are carrying out their duties. There should be no surprises for the employee during their review – the evaluation should function as a recap of things that would have been addressed throughout the year. Make sure that you’re well-prepared with the relevant information that you’ll need when discussing the staff member’s performance – what they’ve accomplished during the year, where their work has been lacking, where they’ve erred, and the areas where you think they’ve developed. Having thorough notes at hand during the review process will set you on better footing.
Engage your staff
The review process can easily become a managerial monologue. You shouldn’t simply list the staff member’s virtues and vices without engaging them too. A staff review is as much a reflection of how employees see the company as how the company sees them, and valuable insights can be gleaned from an employee-level perspective on company affairs.
The natural risk in any dialogue is that it may lead to emotional outbursts – lingering issues might cause tempers to flare. Don’t dismiss these heated issues, but don’t let the review be dominated by one thing in particular – schedule a meeting to deal with these challenges specifically to keep the generalised nature of the review intact.
Talk about the future
A review is as much about the future of a staff member at your company as it is about the past and present. For under performing employees, the review is a prime moment to identify and look to correct work habits and behaviours. For the more middle-of-the-road staff, reviews can provide direction about specific areas that they can address to take their work to the next level. For the exceptional employees, the review process can function as a way to recognise the value that they have brought to your operations. Setting goals for your staff to achieve in the next period is essential, and should be done in consultation with your staff – keep these specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time-constrained. Setting goals adds an extra objective element on which the employee can be judged in the following review.
End on an up
A review is likely to have positive and negative elements, but try to end the review with the good. A performance review can be a trying experience, and the better an employee feels about the review, the more likely they are to see the critical elements in a good light and work to improve themselves in the light of the bad. Following up with staff in the days and weeks to come can help keep the motivating effect going.