Best Practices for Employee Reviews

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Best Practices for Employee Reviews

  • November 02nd, 2016
  • CategoriesBlog

It seems that for both employers and their employees, annual or semi-annual performance reviews are something anticipated with dread. But this doesn’t have to be the norm. In fact, when approached with confidence and a solid action plan, employee reviews can be an incredible tool for both the workforce and the organisation as a whole.

If you’re an employer or manager in charge of performance reviews for your staff, how can you make reviews as effective and valuable as possible? While you can eventually hone the process and adapt it to better meet your company’s unique needs, following a few best practices for employee reviews is a great place to start.

Reviews that Improve Business

More than anything, employee reviews must serve a true purpose, not simply occurring because they are “supposed to happen.” To really promote change and progress at the individual employee level and at the organisational level, your employee reviews should be focused on overall business improvement. This can guide the tone and vision of the review, ensuring it maintains a professional scope and heads in the right direction.

Employee reviews are important, not only because they help team members understand how they can do better, but because, when done right, reviews equate to better positivity, higher employee retention, and generally happier employees—which aids your enterprise across the board. Following best practices for such reviews is vital to their success.

The Structure of a Good Employee Review

Employees should be fully aware of when reviews are scheduled, how often they will occur, and what they can typically expect from them. This puts everyone at ease and prevents a feeling of being caught “off-guard” or remaining on edge throughout the year. Management and others who deliver these reviews should allow for plenty of time to compile them. In fact, it’s advisable for these individuals to keep log books for each employee’s performance. Throughout the year, problems and successes can be noted, making it far easier to recall the employee’s overall contributions when review time is near.

At their core, reviews should be in plain language, providing clear feedback and steps for improvement, all of which must be easily understood by employees. Criticism is necessary for forward progress, but a strong review incorporates recognition of the team member’s strengths and influence in the workplace.

Providing Constructive Criticism

No one enjoys criticism, but when deployed properly, both the employer and the employee find efficacy and positivity from the exchange. When conducting an employee review, it is of the essence to balance both criticism and praise. Address each problem individually, presenting the issue to the employee, reinforcing your belief in their abilities and potential, and then working together to find a solution going forward. In fact, it is this third aspect which is the most important part of the well-executed employee review. When offering criticism, be sure you’re opening the way for the employee to rectify the problem and move forward toward the future. In a supervisory role, this often means asking how you can help the employee be more successful or inquiring what you can do to better support him or her. Emphasising the future is vastly important in employee reviews, as this is the only way to be sure you are focusing on improvement and progress—not dwelling on past mistakes.

Give and Take

During their review, the employee should be able to provide ample feedback and ask questions. It should be company policy, too, that every single staff member receives a review. This levels the playing field, and knowing that your superiors are also subject to scrutiny can be a comfort and a morale boost to employees.

Most of all, the best practice for employee reviews is to ensure they are somewhat ongoing. Once or twice per year is not enough to let your team know how they are faring. Instead, keep a dialogue open between management and employees so that progress is always the goal. This sort of conversational way of doing business also provides a buffer to make mistakes and to try new things, ultimately enhancing productivity and employee engagement. And right alongside the ongoing critiques should be an abundance of regular appreciation and praise.

Finding Exceptional Employees for Your Business

Now that you’re prepared to deliver outstanding performance reviews, let’s get you some fantastic employees. On Line Recruitment and Labour Hire is a leading source of recruitment across Australia, providing permanent, temporary, and labour hire options for all industries. Reach out to our staff today and we’ll help you begin the process of sourcing the best candidates in your field.

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