Guide to Conducting Effective Performance Reviews

Dec 26, 2018

conducting effective performance reviewsWith the new year right around the corner, many employers are planning their annual reviews for their employees. Performance reviews play a key role in guiding your employees’ performance, compensation, and professional development. Conducting effective performance reviews means aligning your employees’ development with that of your business. Employees are generally more productive and motivated when they understand how their work contributes to the company.

Important Notes – Comply With the Law

  • Be sure that your review process treats employees equitably, and avoid any statements or actions that can be construed as discriminatory. If you have questions regarding your performance review program and discrimination issues, contact an employment law attorney who knows your state laws.
  • Be direct, factual, and detail-oriented. A performance review can provide documentation for your company in case a termination is necessary. A very positive review of an employee that does not detail his or her problems does not support a decision to terminate and makes it more difficult to defend your company’s actions.

Performance Review Benefits

The following are some of the benefits associated with performance reviews:

  • Confirm that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge.
  • Identify possible succession-planning opportunities.
  • Provide a forum for positive feedback.
  • Create an opportunity for personnel to raise their concerns.
  • Identify potential under-performance issues early enough to discuss and resolve.
  • May reduce absenteeism.

Employee Performance Tips

The following are some basic steps to manage employees’ performance, which you can incorporate into your performance review:

  • Communicate job expectations and responsibilities and document your meeting. Be sure to obtain employee feedback to ensure that expectations are achievable.
  • Inform employees of how they will contribute to their performance goals (i.e., weekly or monthly sales targets, number of clients to contact).
  • Create a system for measuring performance (i.e., tracking the number of clients contacted for customer service follow-up).
  • Give ongoing feedback regarding progress. Be sure to compare performance against job description and goals.

Measuring Performance with the Job Description

Properly developed job descriptions contain many of the functions and criteria by which you can measure performance.

  • Some types of performance can also be measured quantitatively by output over a certain period (i.e., the number of weekly or monthly sales).
  • Other performance standards can be quality-oriented, such as customer satisfaction measured by customer surveys.
  • Intangible standards of performance, such as leadership, organization, and initiative, can be equally important.

Managing Employee Performance During and Beyond the Review

Performance management will be most successful when you:

  • Set realistic goals and expectations.
  • Allocate time for performance evaluation on a regular basis. Be sure to discuss performance issues with employees as they come up instead of “saving” everything for the performance review.
  • Be sure to follow up with your employee regarding any issues that come up.
  • Provide praise on tasks in addition to areas that need improvement.

How Often Should a Performance Review Take Place?

Many companies conduct performance reviews once a year. Timing of the reviews may take place near the anniversary of the employee’s start date, or within the same few weeks annually for all employees.

The final piece of the performance review puzzle is having all your employee data in one location. With features like documenting and tracking disciplinary offenses and improving efficiency by providing self-service tools to your staff, our human capital management solution ensures your compliance, increases employee engagement and participation, and shares employee data between all departments, making your HR staff’s job easier. Request a free quote today.


Source: “Performance Reviews” by Zywave

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