Performance reviews—nearly everyone dreads them. Managers and employees shy away from completing performance reviews, but it’s a necessary part of working life. Performance reviews shouldn’t have to be harder than they have to be. Here are five helpful strategies managers can use to make performance reviews more palatable for everyone involved:
1. Good Performance Reviews Always Last Longer Than 10 Minutes
Managers who spend ten minutes going over performance reviews only after the HR department has been regularly harassing them to get the reviews done aren’t accomplishing much at all. In fact, a quick review is probably worse than no performance review at all. Performance reviews shouldn’t be scheduled on the fly and rushed through. Managers should set aside at least 30-45 minutes of time to go over reviews with employees.
2. Vague Praises and Generalizations Should Be Avoided: Be Specific
Vague phrases such as “you’re doing good work” and “keep it up” really don’t add value to any conversation. Managers who don’t give employees specific feedback aren’t doing the employees any favors, and they certainly aren’t doing themselves a favor either. Performance reviews should cite specific information and specific time frames. A generalized review is pointless. Again, if it can’t be done right, the review probably shouldn’t be done at all.
3. Managers Should Include Relevant Information in Performance Reviews
Performance reviews involve research. For employees who’ve been with a company for some time, managers should look at previous reviews. New employees should have notes from 30 days and 90 days probationary periods. If a manager isn’t in the know, then the review doesn’t have a chance of being effective. Good performance reviews will point to specific information on real events that are relevant to the employee’s job performance.
4. Employee Strengths and Weaknesses Should Always Be Covered
It is essential that managers prove that they notice what goes on in the workplace. Good deeds should be appreciated and an employee’s strengths should be celebrated. Likewise, an effective manager should take note of an employee’s weaknesses and not be afraid to include strategies to mitigate any effects weaknesses might have on overall job performance. Additionally, managers should include employees in on developing strategies to overcome certain weaknesses.
5. Never Forget the Synopsis of Overall Performance
Managers should always include a detailed summary of findings at the end of the performance review report. The review should include comments on any highlighted items in the review. Constructive criticism is also helpful. Criticism should outline issues and provide suggestions on improving or maintaining the status quo.
Performance reviews aren’t complicated. In fact, if done correctly performance reviews are an effective tool to improve employee performance. Additionally, if reviews are done properly, no one has to waste time dreading them anymore.