Performance reviews get a bad rap in many organizations. They are often viewed as labor intensive or just a rote drill that is virtually meaningless to the employee and/or the manager. However, a performance review can be a valuable exercise for both the employee and the manager if it’s conducted effectively.
If you follow these steps, you’ll love your performance review, because it will be honest and actionable. If you’re the employee:
Talk To Your Manager About What To Expect
Your organization may require you to complete a self-assessment, so make sure you take care of your responsibilities before having the formal review with your manager.
Prepare For The Review
At a minimum, you should brainstorm (and possibly write down) your top accomplishments for the past year (or period of performance being evaluated). This will help your manager justify a salary increase if that’s being considered in conjunction with your review. It’s also a great time to map out your career path and any training or continuing education opportunities you wish to pursue in the near future.
Be Willing To Listen To Constructive Feedback
A performance review is for your benefit, so don’t become defensive if a manager suggests improvement in one or more areas. Listen to what the manager has to say, process the information and then respond appropriately. Your manager’s role is to guide you into becoming a better professional, so try not to take feedback as an assault on your character. If you’re the manager:
Find Dedicated Time To Meet With Your Employee
We all have lots of distractions, so if you can’t spend an uninterrupted hour in the office, consider meeting with your employee in an off-site location. The employee will appreciate your undivided attention and the performance evaluation process will be more meaningful to you both.
Performance reviews don’t always go hand-in-hand with salary increases, so make sure your employee knows what this performance evaluation means and how the process works. If there’s a concern over poor performance, the employee should be notified of the steps he/she needs to take to improve.
Know It’s Not One And Done
Although the formal performance review may only occur every six months or year, you still need to provide your employees with ongoing feedback. Make an effort to give positive reinforcement for jobs well done, but also deal with performance problems as they arise. The best performance reviews have active participants, positive attitudes, a willingness to listen to each other, mutual goal setting and problem solving, as well as clear performance examples.
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