Whether you're an employer, a hiring manager or a line manager, if you've ever written and gave a performance review then you would know that it’s a daunting task. However, as stressful as they may be, performance reviews are a crucial element in human resource management as they help address areas of improvement and acknowledge employees for their achievements. We’re currently in that period of the year in which we start preparing for annual performance reviews so here are 5 tips which will help you prepare for an effective performance review:
Before sitting down with an employee, an appraisal needs to be written. For a performance review to be effective one must be prepared. Keep notes about each employee’s work; this can be in the form of an email folder where you can keep all relevant emails all in one place and you can refer back to them when it is time to review. Keeping notes and preparing in advance is key to providing an effective performance review as you can support your feedback using specific examples rather than keeping it generic.
2. Be honest
To deliver performance reviews correctly, one must be as honest and objective as possible. It is good practice to give feedback on both the good and the bad; therefore, one must point out any shortcomings and areas on which the employee must work on improving as well as offering any tools and help required in aiding the employee improve whilst offering recognition and awarding accomplishments. Highlighting and awarding the positive is beneficial as it increases employee engagement and enforces the idea that improvements and accomplishments are awarded.
3. Check in regularly
While the purpose of a performance review is to update employees on their contribution and performance, it is important to check in regularly as to avoid any surprises. Providing regular feedback allows them time to work on their weaknesses or build on their strengths before the review takes place, and accordingly, when the official performance review takes place, they would already be on top of some of the issues and would be actively working on them.
4. Give feedback without comparison to peers
The ultimate goal of the performance review is to provide feedback; both positive and constructive. When reviewing performance of employees, it is important to avoid comparison with other employees as this creates unhealthy competition instead of fostering a sense of unity within the workplace. Although there may be clear key performance indicators that can be measured visibly, the main priority of performance reviews is to make these discussions as personalised as possible as they should be a reflection on the person in question and a way to provide them the tools to improve and continue growing in their career path.
5. Set clear and reasonable goals and expectations
This conversation can be a good time to set goals and expectations for the upcoming year as the employee can also be involved in the process. When setting goals, we recommend using the SMART acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. To avoid any misunderstanding, it is important that goals are specific, therefore provide as much information as possible. It is also beneficial that these goals can be measured and attainable as this can help in keeping track of progress whilst making sure that the goal can be achieved. Time also comes into play here as there should be a clear timeline for goals so there is prioritisation of tasks and expectations are met.
Having an effective performance review is important because it helps create a culture of accountability among employees and provides them with valuable feedback. The tips mentioned above provide employers with ideas on what to include in their reviews, and the way to structure that information to their employees to set them up for a successful career and future.
VC (VacancyCentre) is a leading recruitment agency in Malta, facilitating the resourcing of talent needed by organisations of all sizes with particular specialisation within certain industry disciplines, namely Finance, Compliance, Technology and Operations. To find out more about how partnering with us can help your company’s recruitment needs, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].