Preparing for Performance Evaluations: An Employer Perspective
In continuing our two-part series on performance evaluations, we take a different point-of-view today. Last week we examined the perspective of how an employee should prepare. Now we are taking a closer look at what managers and business leadership should do to make these evaluations productive, effective, and if possible, a positive experience.
Let’s start by saying that performance appraisals should not be a stand alone event. Instead, feedback should be given throughout the year, whether it is in writing or in discussions held at regular intervals. The annual review, therefore should just be a formalized way of talking about an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
Just as an employee should be documenting their achievements throughout the year, you should also be keeping track of what you see as “above and beyond” efforts including client feedback, completed projects, ability to evolve and learn, any skills training that occurred, and general demeanor in the office.
In keeping your documentation on each employee, you should be sure to note where the employee improved and where he/she could improve more. These notes will help you give both positive feedback and constructive criticism during the review meeting.
Plan for the Future
Most employees envision a review as looking back on what happened in the past year, but as an employer, you should be thinking ahead as well. Use the review to find out what goals your employee has for the future, whether it is specialized training, a degree, or to gain a promotion. Set aside some time during the meeting to explain what you would like to see as goals for the employee and get feedback on your thoughts.
Make it “No Mystery”
Performance reviews are sometimes shrouded in secrecy and the office may take on a different feeling during the days and weeks of reviews. Make your reviews less mysterious by having your team members fill out a self evaluation. This way they know exactly what will be discussed.
Some managers find that using performance review software can take away some of the secrecy and mystery surrounding these yearly appraisals.
In addition, some companies find it helpful to have more than one manager in the review to make things more comfortable for all (This is especially important if you are a new manager, or the employee is completing his/her first review process.).
Most importantly, go into the review with your ideas and thoughts prepared. Be sure to listen as much as you speak. Interested in learning more about performance reviews? Check out our programs and workshops that often include information about performance review and techniques.