6 tips to reinvent the employee performance review

By Adam Johnston on 19 July 2017

It’s time to revitalise the employee performance review in order to stay ahead in the ever-changing employment landscape.

The yearly performance review, when done right, can be an invaluable tool to reward and boost employee performance. Flaws in the process may cause employees to be discouraged, but ultimately, most workers will want to know how well they’re doing.

However, the traditional performance review process may not be as effective in today’s world. Here, we look at some ways you can alter your methods of appraisal to benefit your company and employees.

1. Bi-yearly, not annual reviews

It’s difficult to give an employee a verdict based on a whole year of working within the company. Very often, it’s the month right before the performance review that carries the most weight.

Increasing the frequency of a performance appraisal to a bi-yearly basis can help to fill in the gaps and make for a more consistent review system.

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2. Make it an ongoing process

The process of reviewing and improving employee performance should be a constant, ongoing process – not a once-a-year compulsory examination. Managers should be discussing their employees’ development with them as and when issues arise, not putting it off until a formal review.

Keeping the lines of communication open will allow the employees to talk about any difficulties they are facing as well, and allows managers to be more proactive in mentoring them to meet their KPIs and improve their productivity.

3. Specialised reviewing

Not all employee performance can be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. While reviewing a particular employee’s efforts may be as simple as tracking his/her sales records, other positions with less measurable goals or a wider scope of responsibilities are more difficult to quantify.

Tailoring your questions and review methods to be role-specific can help to make the performance review more helpful and rewarding for everyone involved.

4. Collaborative performance review

In the companies of today, employees rarely only report to one manager in the company. Many roles require collaborating with different managers and other departments, so there’s no reason why the performance review can’t be a collaborative project either.

Team members and other managers who have worked with the individual can and should be called to help weigh in on their progress to make the process a fairer one.

5. Keeping it positive

Some of the top-rated methods to improving productivity, according to CFOs in the region, are employee motivation, improved training and development, and improved staff performance evaluation. One way to incorporate these ideas is by reframing the performance review exercise as a career opportunity for managers and employees.

Instead of just telling employees that their performance is lacking, areas for growth should be highlighted, and training, guidance and mentorship should be offered. Employees can then look forward to a chance to move up in their career, supported by the company.

6. Change the scene

Small gestures can go a long way in making the process of the employee performance review less intimidating, especially for employees who aren’t usually comfortable with giving feedback.

One way to lighten the mood would be to take it out of the office and do it in a more casual setting – for example, a nice restaurant or a café. This can help alleviate the stress of the evaluation, and facilitates having a more open conversation with the team member.

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