77% of HR execs believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance. Despite this, there is a right way to complete them in order to get the most out of the process. Aside from how you provide continuous feedback to employees throughout the year, how you conduct the actual performance review is also just as important. And, it all starts with planning.
Take all of those discussions and the feedback that comes with each, and combine them into one, amazing, formal conversation to acknowledge goals and progress. Not sure where to start? Follow these 5 steps to get on the right track:
1. WHY ARE WE HERE AGAIN?
Of course, you already know the point of the meeting is to give a review over the employee’s performance. But, it’s also critical to think a little deeper than that. What do you want them to take away from this encounter? Whether it’s refined goals, a way to fix a few mistakes, or to start working on refining an old process, as a manager you have to understand and consider what the ultimate objective of the review will be.
2. WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA?
Just as you expect the employee to be prepared for the performance review conversation, you should be too. It’s a good idea to have a quick talk before the actual review to let the employee know (and so they can let you know) about main topics that need to be discussed during the more formal conversation. Find out what their goals are and be ready to offer up some insight during the review process. Remember, communication and conversations are a two-way street. You should be engaged just as much as they are.
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3. PREPARE TO BE A NEGATIVE NANCY…ERR CONFRONTATIONAL CARRIE
This is probably what performance reviews are most known for – discussing both the negatives and the positives. There’s no need to worry though! Employees want to hear the feedback, even if it means taking an ego hit along the way. Harvard Business Review found 57% of employees actually preferred corrective feedback. In addition, 72% of employees said they thought their performance would improve if their managers would provide this type of corrective feedback. You want to provide better work, right? This is where the going can get get tough, but it’s worth it in the end.
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After some discussion about the employee’s challenges and wins, make sure to brainstorm with them things they can do differently if necessary. It’s not productive, if you provide all this feedback, but offer no constructive way for them to improve. Have another employee who might be going through the same issues? This can also help prepare you for the same conversation in the future. At this point in time, it’s ultimately important to remember simply providing corrective feedback works better than straight up negativity. Translation? Offer a solution.
4. WRAP IT ALL UP (WITH A PRETTY BOW)!
Now it’s time to summarize! It’s likely a lot of things were discussed during the review, and thoughts can become jumbled while trying to take in all that information. Gather everything together and be sure to review the main points. These could include things like what the employee needs to work on, any new goals/tasks, and maybe even repeating a few answers to some of their questions so they have a solid understanding. This also makes it helpful to you to ensure that everything you needed to say, was said. Skimming over details one more time puts a nice cherry on top of the whole situation.
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Lastly, before they leave, ask them you give you any feedback about the review. Again, this should be a two-way street. Where do they feel you can improve? Take note and apply it the next time around!
Learn More: 7 Benefits of Giving Gratitude to Your Employees
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