It’s that time of year again! Festival foods, cold weather apparel and good ole performance reviews are coming up. Supervisors would rather eat a pound of fruit cake and chase it with eggnog instead of starting and completing individual reviews but here are 4 useful, easy tips to pass along to help managers complete their team’s performance reviews on time and without bias.
- Focus on performance. I say this because it’s easy to get distracted with personal working relationships. Most supervisors have a good relationship with individuals on the team but must focus solely on the performance objectives outlined in each employee’s performance plan. Keep performance of the employee at the center of your review and leave the relationship outside. If performance reviews are watered down with personal feelings, the effectiveness of the performance plan is weakened. It’s great to get along at work but your job is to improve quality and meet strategic objectives.
- Have Evidence Ready. Hopefully your managers have discussed the objectives with his or her employees monthly, or at the very least, quarterly. If not, you probably have some coaching to do. Supervisors should have the notes from these discussions ready along with any other evidence produced by the department, such as quantifiable results. Employees should be encouraged to provide any documents as well such as a customer appreciation letter or new training certificate. Having all evidence gathered and ready, managers and employees can now focus on the end result of each performance objective with factual evidence produced throughout the year. Such evidence can now help provide a basis for the score of each performance plan.
- Stay on topic. Keep your performance review short and stay on topic. It’s very easy to get distracted and veer off subject when talking performance with employees or team members. Start with objectives weighted the most and discuss the importance of each objective. Discuss the progress of the objective, how attainable it was and how improvements can be made the following year. Move on to the next objective. Keep performance the sole topic of the meeting as this will send a clear message to each employee that improving employee performance is the main goal and very important to the company.
- Keep Compensation Out of the Discussion! I can’t stress this enough so I’ll say it again. For goodness sakes, keep compensation out of this discussion! Look, we all go to work every day for a paycheck and merit increases are very important, especially to top performers. However, the performance review is designed to discuss the performance of each individual and the results of the objectives set forth in each individual plan. If supervisors make it clear to employees that the merit increases will be discussed at a soon but separate time, the discussion will be focused solely on performance and how objectives can be met or improved while helping the company meet strategic objectives and improve daily work functions.
Performance reviews should be short but impactful. By meeting throughout the year, taking notes and keeping on topic the review should not be difficult but rather informative for both supervisor and employee. Be prepared, stay on topic and you should finish your employee’s performance reviews this year on time and without fault. Now you’re ready for that fruitcake and eggnog.