Smart Tips to Improve Year-End Performance Reviews

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

Smart Tips to Improve Year-End Performance Reviews

The year-end is one of the busiest times for HR. Aside from overseeing regular HR work, your department has to keep track of employee performance reviews, making sure that team leaders and managers submit their evaluations of their respective members or staff before turning a new page with the coming year.

Annual employee appraisals are the best time for managers to discuss with their employees how their work performance is contributing to company goals or otherwise. Since it’s a one-on-one dialogue between the manager and an employee, the exchange of feedback is immediate and thorough.

Employees are given an honest assessment of how they’re performing at work and managers are able to gain insights about certain issues or challenges that may be preventing employees from being more efficient or productive in the organization.

Then again, performance reviews are also spent discussing plans including training, promotions, and salary increase.

How to Conduct Performance Reviews

Given the tremendous value of performance evaluations for both the employer and its employees, it’s important for companies to do them right. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for those involved in the reviews to be bogged down with planning, implementation, post-review documentation, and other related tasks.

To help you breeze through the upcoming review period, you might want to put the following tips into action:

Prepare beforehand.

Performance reviews are a critical part of employee management, which entails careful planning and preparation on your part as the employer.

To start off, you could create a list of which employees are up for evaluation first based on their hire date. Once you have the list ready, you could spread them out in between days so that you don’t feel rushed moving from one performance appraisal to the next.

Having a checklist of what to discuss come evaluation day will also give your employees the impression that you are serious about what you need to accomplish during the review.

Be specific.

The rule of thumb in writing performance reviews for your employees is that they should be precise, specific, and straight to the point whether you’re helping them set performance goals or giving feedback regarding their quality of work.

It is then important for you to keep a record of the employee’s performance history throughout the year so that you could include concrete details in your evaluation. Go through each of your written observations and give the employee a chance to refute your findings if necessary.

Do periodic follow-ups.

Ideally, you should evaluate employee performance on a more regular basis rather than make it a one-time affair. Performance reviews are meant to be a form of damage control, so don’t wait until the year-end to call your employees’ attention to areas that they need to improve on.

Also, it’s best to provide immediate feedback and recognition to employees as they complete a project or meet their objectives successfully. By the end of the year, you would have accomplished half of the appraisal process and would only need to give a recap of the employee’s performance to complete the other half of the review.

Utilize peer and self-reviews.

In the spirit of fairness and objectivity, you could ask for feedback from other members of the team who have worked directly with the employee under review since they may be in a better position to assess their colleague’s skill set and work ethics. They might also help you see another side of the employee that you wouldn’t normally notice.

Just make sure that everyone understands the importance of providing objective reviews without any bias, favoritism, or ulterior motives. Similarly, self-reviews can be helpful since they allow your employees to reflect on their own performance and encourage them to be accountable for their work.

Empower your supervisors and managers.

Quite obviously, employees under review might have qualms about annual appraisals, thinking that their performance might not be up to par with company standards.

At the same time, supervisors and managers giving the evaluation might be dealing with their own uncertainties, too. They might feel that they don’t have the proper know-how to conduct the review or that they might not be able to communicate management issues to employees fully.

Having a pool of recruitment consultants or specialists in your organization is a worthy investment in this case. They can provide expert coaching to your supervisors so that your performance evaluations become a two-way success for both the employer and employees.

Careful planning, stringent measures, and professional support are key ingredients for year-end performance reviews. Apply these basic rules, and your employee evaluations will never be grueling for anyone ever again.



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