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How to Conduct Performance Reviews as a New Manager

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Performance reviews are starting to regain traction. Here at Dominion, we’ve heard from current customers and prospects alike that a well-constructed platform and methodology around performance reviews is a valuable thing for their business. But despite the best intentions, at the end of the day, the success of the performance review rests on the shoulders of the managers. Their participation and preparedness is the backbone of driving beneficial performance review meetings.

But like some employees, managers dread performance reviews, too, especially if they’re new to the role. Let’s explore a few helpful tips so managers can conduct beneficial performance reviews.

Offer Ongoing Feedback

Managers are often strapped for time and may not be able to deliver frequent feedback to their employees. But carving out a specific time weekly or bi-weekly will get new managers in the habit of reporting on what their employees are doing well and what can be improved.

By delivering feedback on a consistent basis, you avoid the awkwardness of jumping into the practice for the formal review. Additionally, more frequent feedback reports address possible problems before they snowball into larger issues.

Be specific and focus on details

Include details and specific examples of what you like about an employee’s progress or what can be improved. By giving concrete examples of what you value about an employees’ work or what can be improved, they’ll have concrete examples of how to improve their professional performance and contribute to company goals.

Avoid Common Biases

Like any person in a new position, new managers will likely feel stressed about not conducting the performance review “correctly.” The best managers strive to support their employees and want to evaluate them fairly. One method new managers can use to ensure confidence about giving their first performance reviews is to familiarize themselves on common biases.

One of the most pertinent biases plaguing performance reviews is the recency and spillover bias. The recency bias occurs when managers base an employee’s review based on their most recent performance, say the last few weeks, as opposed to the entire quarter or year. The spillover bias is the practice of rating an employee based solely on past performance, either failing to take into account new improvements or discount past negative habits.

The best solution is to implement more consistent feedback and conduct reviews on a quarterly basis. It’s much easier to recall the performance of your staff over a three-month period rather than an entire calendar year. Dominion has the technology to automate reminders and notifications so you can jump on the ball at the end of every quarter.

Document an Employee’s Understanding of their Role

In the event that an employee is not succeeding in their job performance, the performance review evaluation provides clear documentation that an employee understands what is expected of them when they show up to work. As a new manager, documenting goals and requirements sets you and the employee up for potential success, as well as a history of ethical and visible evidence that the employee understands their job requirements.

These goals provide a platform for a supervisor to go into detail about what an employee is failing to accomplish. Such feedback can be used to develop a performance action plan or as evidence for disciplinary action.

Are you ready to enhance employee engagement? Dominion’s Performance Reviews product provides modern employee management fully equipped to administer your reviews and set employee goals. Request a quote today to find out more!


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