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4 Ways to Improve Performance Reviews

16 Dec


Performance reviews are part of the performance management process that requires a supervisor to assess an employee’s performance at work. Here are four ways to improve performance reviews.

  1. Understand the Purpose of Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are valuable tools that:

  • Help identify an employee’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Boost opportunities for professional growth
  • Provide employees and supervisors a chance to offer feedback and set goals
  • Allocate promotions or pay increases properly

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2. Performance Review Best Practices

Generally, performance review templates contain the same components, such as frequency, guidelines, and formatting. There are three main components to a successful performance review:

  • Conduct performance reviews on a regular basis. Most companies make the mistake of conducting performance reviews once a year. To provide regular feedback, quarterly meetings are recommended. This allows career development discussions and ensuring adequate support, resources, and tools are in place to help employees reach their goals.
  • Establish clear evaluation guidelines. In preparation and goal setting, it is imperative that clear guidelines are established for measuring an employee’s performance. For example, if an employee wants to move into a supervisory role, layout what types of qualities or tasks they will be evaluated on. This could include general qualities like communication, time management, critical thinking and problem solving, and working under pressure.
  • Communicating performance review format. To prepare your employee for a performance review, layout the format. For example, is this going to be a formal or informal meeting? If it is going to be formal, you could provide the structure of the meeting by explaining what is expected from the employee, what the employee should expect from you, and the goal of the performance review (i.e., annual evaluation, consideration for a raise or promotion).

Some performance review templates vary by company, department, and/or role. For example, “creativity and innovation” may not be as highly appreciated in a workers’ compensation role as a marketing and communications role.

3. Performance Review Template

Performance review templates should include goal setting, feedback from both employee and supervisor, and input from HR.

  • Goal Setting: Typically, performance reviews are intended to provide goal setting opportunities. It is a chance for expectations to be laid out, goals should be developed, and both you and the employee should leave with a strategy for the employee to successfully attain their goal.
  • Seek Feedback: Whether you seek insight from workers who worked closely with the employee or from his or her supervisor, the more feedback you receive, the more performance review information you may provide the employee. Seeking feedback should also be extended to the employee being evaluated. For example, if a supervisor states that the employee needs to work on time management due to missed deadlines, then you may seek feedback from the employee. The employee may provide information that offers feedback or insight for the supervisor. Feedback should always be a two-way discussion.
  • Exercise with HR: If you are uncertain on particular approaches or would like additional feedback, practice with your HR team. Human resource professionals usually have exceptional employee relation experience and can offer you feedback on what works and tips to improve.

Performance reviews are typically are categorized by skills and goals that correlate to each category. The most common performance review examples of skills and goals include:[1]

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Adaptability
  3. Communication
  4. Accountability
  5. Attendance and punctuality
  6. Productivity and quality of work
  7. Achievement
  8. Cooperation
  9. Coaching and training
  10. Improvement
  11. Interpersonal skills
  12. Problem solving

4. Invest in a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

A PEO is a co-employment arrangement where the PEO undertakes employee-related responsibilities allowing the business owner to focus on primary job functions and responsibilities, such as business growth and managing employees. PEOs support core business functions with services, including human resources, payroll, employee benefits, risk management and safety, and workers’ compensation. To ensure proper performance review processes and developing performance review templates, contact VensureHR. Our HR specialists can provide industry best practices, customer support, and the resources and tools to strengthen your business’s performance management practices.

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[1] Indeed

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