Tips For Conducting And Preparing For Performance Reviews

Two Businessmen Talking

Taking a holistic approach to employee management is one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your team. While you might have quantifiable numbers, whether they be physical outputs or bottom line numbers, such measures might not tell the whole story when it comes to your workforce. The same goes for workers themselves. Simple production numbers might not tell the whole story of what a person does and does not contribute.

A performance review takes a peak behind the numbers associated with each worker and paints a clearer, more detailed picture of each team member. Here are a few performance review tips for those on either side of the table to follow.

What is a performance review?

Performance Review

A performance review is a meeting between a representative of management, usually a human resources staffer or a department head, and an employee. The goal of this meeting is to formally track and discuss the goals and production of the employee, analysing progress made toward past goals and forming new ones.

How to prepare for a performance review if you’re an employee

Here are three performance review tips for employees to use when it comes time for their annual appraisal.

  • Meet it head on

You can’t dodge the performance management process forever. Sure, you might have some scheduling conflicts that make it hard to set a time that works for all involved parties. But your employee performance review isn’t going anywhere. And trying to dodge the makes it look like you are worried about the discussion. Be confident. You’ve done the work, here’s your chance to show off a bit.

  • Have a plan

Setting goals and having things you want to achieve can benefit you in a variety of ways. First and foremost, broadening your skillset and increasing your knowledge of different areas of your industry make you a well-rounded team member and enriches your professional experience. But another plus of having set goals before your performance review is that you can control what you’re working toward. Think of some training courses you want to check out to further your skills or how you can work toward becoming a better leader.

  • Be honest with yourself

Before you head into your performance review, assess your work in various areas. Ignorance is most definitely not bliss in this circumstance, as walking in with an unearned inflated ego will do nothing but lead to a blindsiding if and when you hear harsh truths from the company representative. Being honest beforehand will help you come up with positives and negatives that will clarify how you can better yourself going forward.

How to prepare for a performance review if you’re an employer or HR staffer

A performance review is only beneficial to the employee and the company if both sides are ready to roll when the time comes. Here are some things to consider as you move through the performance management process.

  • Be specific

Team members won’t get much out of their performance review if you don’t tell them exactly what they can work on. Saying something like “Your reports aren’t good enough,” doesn’t mean much. Tell whomever you’re reviewing exactly what he or she can and should be doing better.

  • Be willing to listen

A performance review is a discussion, which means both sides should have ample time to contribute ideas on what can be done better. That’s why you, as a representative of company management, need to make sure you’re not being too dominant. Listen to what employees have to say about the direction of not only their own careers, but also their view of the company as a whole. They have a different perspective that could be greatly beneficial.

  • Put a plan in place

After you’ve determined weak areas, whether they be with the employee him or herself or the company, come up with some actionable ideas that can help accomplish associated goals in the near future. Make plans to hire training rooms and upskill workers in different areas of the industry, or discuss ways to have team members shadow colleagues to learn about other aspects of the company. Putting plans in place or at least making plans to look into solutions will ensure the concepts and problems raised in the performance management process don’t die on the vine.

These performance review tips will help all involved get the most out of the entire performance management process. If both sides are honest, direct and prepared, such meetings can be valuable tools in improving personal and organisational performance going forward. Bring these ideas into your next meeting and keep your team running smoothly.