- December 27th, 2015
Performance reviews: the typically annual or semi-annual sessions employers have with their staff members to discuss their work. If you’re an employer or business manager, it is highly likely that you engage in this type of meeting with your employees at some point through the year. Performance reviews can be formal or informal. Sometimes they are one-on-one or involve a whole panel or in a non-traditional approach, include a group of employees. No matter what approach you take when it comes to the employee performance review, one thing is clear: performance reviews are very important to the successful business. But, the proper approach is necessary to make these their most effective.
Doing it Right
Surveys of employees across the globe indicate that opinions are divided when it comes to the performance review. A portion of employees suggest that performance reviews are ineffective, unpleasant, or don’t have the desired impact. But other statistics show that employees are more productive and successful when they receive feedback. This means that performance reviews, in some form, can have tremendous benefit.
Help Everyone Remain Accountable
Performance reviews, when thorough and comprehensive, can have the primary advantage of keeping everyone accountable for their efforts at work. If employees know that their performance is under scrutiny and will be discussed, this helps them remain focused and effortful with their duties. Yet, the most effective performance reviews give the employee an opportunity to review their superiors as well. When these reviews are a two-way street, it helps everyone remain more accountable for their behaviours and actions. When this is incorporated, performance reviews prove much more useful a tool.
Clear, Direct Goals
Another benefit of performance reviews is that they can produce clear goals and direction for an employee. This will depend, of course, upon the insight and communication of the individual providing the review. When a review is appropriately done, the employee should leave feeling knowledgeable about how they can improve, with clear steps in mind that they need to take to improve. When performance reviews are too vague, employees do not get anything out of it and their performance remains the same. This is not a good recipe for continued success.
Keeping Communication Open
In an ideal workplace situation, performance reviews should be an opportunity for employees and employers to communicate candidly. If this kind of open dialogue is encouraged, reviews (and in fact any interactions) will have the effect of propelling the business forward. Without such authenticity and trust, resentments are built up, secrets kept, and the organisation as a whole begins to suffer. It is the responsibility of management to ensure staff members feel comfortable addressing problems and bringing issues to their superiors. When this is the case, these concerns can find quick and lasting solutions.
Going Beyond Performance Reviews
What it boils down to is a need for continuous contact that goes beyond the annual performance review. Workplaces that have instituted an open-door policy or schedule weekly performance meetings find by and large that their employees are far happier, more productive, and performing at peak. This constant feedback for both employee and employer is fulfilling and fair for everyone, and takes the typical performance review to new heights.
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