If you ask 100 managers what they dislike about their job, most will say performance reviews. But, they are an essential part of the job and are critical for your team's growth. And if you want to become a superstar manager, you better get as good as you can at performance reviews.
As a manager, the majority of your success is defined by the success of your team. Even though you should frequently give feedback to your employees, dedicated performance reviews still serve a specific purpose among teams that work great together.
Let us take a look at how you can perform effective and motivational performance reviews. We will also show you how the reviews will make your team perform better, as well as help you be a better manager, especially if you are doing this for the first time.
Starting the Performance Review Process
The performance review should be a year-long process. By taking your time to properly plan out the reviews will help you stop any unnecessary surprises from occurring, while at the same time, you will ensure that the feedback your employees receive is much more detailed and thought out.
First, you should figure out when the performance reviews are happening. Next, start planning how you will handle various activities related to the reviews one year in advance. Communicate your timing to your employees so that they are well aware of every aspect of the review.
Make Sure You Set Proper Goals and Expectations
Schedule a company-wide meeting a year in advance. During the meeting, share the company's annual goals and expectations. The purpose of the meeting is to get all employees on the same page.
After the company-wide meeting, meet with each employee individually so that you can together set their performance goals for the year. By creating their individual goals together, they will have a clear outline to follow in the upcoming quarter review meetings, which we will talk about next.
Hold Check-In Meetings Every Quarter or Month
Depending on your personal preference, you can organize them either on a quarter or a monthly basis. The main purpose of these meetings is to summarize the performance in the last quarter or month, depending on which timeframe you chose. You should use the data and the info from the check-in meetings in your annual performance review.
Performance review should be a never-ending process. The best way to continually collect all the necessary information and data about the performance of your employees is to use a computer time monitor software that is designed to tell you exactly how your employees use their time at work. The powerful data you get can help improve the efficiency and productivity of your team as well as make the process a lot easier.
During the check-in meetings, go through the employee's personal performance goals and address any goal-related questions and concerns they might have. These meetings are also a great place to review any larger assignments or long-term projects.
Prepare Before the Performance Review
About a month before the annual performance review, you should gather all the needed data about the performance of your employees. If you have used a computer time monitor software, then getting all the information you need should be quick and easy. If you did not use a computer time monitor software, you should remember to use it next year 😉.
In addition to preparing the data from the cloud based employee monitoring software, ask your employees to send you over a self-evaluation of their performance. This can be beneficial in a couple of ways: first, you include them more in the performance review process, and second, it challenges them to take an objective look at the work they have done up to this point.
Also, go over all your check-in meeting notes and computer time monitor data so that you can piece together all the information before the performance reviews. In the review, settle on areas for encouragement and affirmation, as well as any concerning areas (if there are any).
Pick out the main points for each of the areas so that you can have focused and fruitful conversations with your employees. Do not forget to include a summary of your expectations for the future as well as if there are any action items your employees can do to achieve their goals.
This Is What You Worked For
Finally, now is the time for the official meeting where you will discuss your employee’s performance in the last twelve months. This is the most important part of the performance review process.
For the meeting review meeting to go smoothly, both you and the employee have to be relaxed. Offer them something to drink and encourage them to start. Listen carefully to what they have to say and take notes. Compare their actual performance to the goals you have set. If there are any problems, ask the employee for ideas on how to resolve it. Offer your take on the situation.
Be honest about their performance and emphasize their strengths. Support your employee's efforts to work on improving their performance and patch out any problems, if they exist. Do not forget to end the performance review meeting on a positive note.
Even though the performance reviews seem like a dreaded process, it is not. Unless you try to squeeze a year’s worth of work into a day, or a few weeks. Then it can be very stressful.
To ensure this does not happen to you, plan out, set goals and expectations a year in advance, regularly hold touch-base meetings, and prepare before the performance review meetings.
By doing all of these tasks, both you, your employees, and the company itself will be able to make progress.