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The Best Practices for Giving Performance Reviews

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Traditional performance reviews have needed a refresh for some time. Management and HR know this, but they may be too overwhelmed to create a new process from the ground up. Whether you love or loathe performance reviews, they are important. They help gauge the performance of your employees, their feelings towards their role, department, and the company as a whole. 

Often, managers opt for annual performance reviews; which means that they are only asking for and providing feedback from their employees once a year.  While annual reviews are not entirely ineffective, research has shown that employees prefer more frequent check-ins. Think about what type of frequent performance reviews work best for your company. Would a quarterly review be more productive? What about weekly one-on-ones to discuss what is going well and what struggles employees are constantly facing? Try to keep things relatively informal and simple so they don’t require a ton of planning for both parties. These informal, frequent reviews are more likely to build a stronger relationship between the employee and their manager, and consequently improve the employee’s performance.

The following are the benefits of conducting ongoing performance reviews and how it makes life easier in the long run.

Nurture the Employee-Manager Relationship

Performance reviews are a great way to get to know your employees better, and the more often they are done, the more you get to learn about them and the better you learn to manage them. Did you know that only 42% of employees trust their own boss? Frequent feedback establishes trust between the parties involved whether it is by instilling praise or offering critical feedback. The more often you do it, the more comfortable the employees will get, therefore opening up even more. 

Increase the Opportunities for Development

Use performance reviews to ask employees what they want to learn and to offer opportunities for them to grow. One of the most common strategies for talent retention is training and development. Top talent is always eager to learn, acquire new skills, and grow professionally, so make sure to make it a priority to invest in your employees’ professional development. When you conduct a year-end review rather than ongoing reviews, employees who are looking to grow within the company might not know of the opportunities available to them and start looking elsewhere. This is why ongoing feedback is important. You don’t want your top talent to leave your company because you missed an opportunity to talk to them and get their feedback. 

Keep Employees Engaged

It is no secret that communication between managers and employees is necessary. When managers fail to meet with their staff regularly, they can affect employee engagement and as we know, this can have a negative impact on productivity. Since employees are often reluctant to approach their managers when they have a problem, performance reviews are a great way to open that door. Talk to your employees and ask them for honest feedback regarding their job. You can use that time to have an actual conversation rather than a strict review. By keeping it more casual you show them that you are willing to listen and are motivated to help them grow and succeed in their roles. 

Keep Employees Motivated by Recognition

Any employee likes to hear when their boss recognizes and appreciates their work. By conducting ongoing performance reviews, you have more opportunities to thank your employees and validate what they are doing right. When employees aren’t recognized for their hard work, they won’t have the drive to stay productive. If your business doesn’t already have a performance-based reward system, then now is the time to think about establishing one. Incentives are a great way to motivate employees to hit their goals and go above and beyond. This can be a dinner at a nice restaurant, a bonus, an extra day of PTO, or even just a gift card. Either way, employee recognition should be a core element of your business’ culture. 

Save Time and Money by Choosing the Right Tool

Ongoing performance reviews shouldn’t add more work for you since, thanks to technology, they can be streamlined. Choosing the right performance tool can make a big difference not only for the managers and HR, but also for the employees. Take advantage of cloud-based performance management systems like Dominion’s. A few tools that can help you rate performance, manage goal progress, gather critical feedback, evaluate day-to-day performance, and send notifications, you are guaranteed to save money and time in the long run. 

Conducted correctly and frequently, performance reviews can have a really positive effect on the success of your team. Once a year is not often enough to really grasp how well your employees are performing, and how satisfied they are. Shoot for having reviews every six months, quarterly, or even monthly. Consider all the benefits listed above and then take steps to guarantee continued success by conducting ongoing performance reviews.


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