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Performance Reviews

9 things to keep in mind while doing Performance Reviews

A performance review is a chance for managers to highlight employee strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to be specific in your feedback so that employees can make targeted improvements.

Although many companies have gotten rid of stack rankings, Performance Reviews still have an opportunity to motivate employee engagement. Here are 9 things to keep in mind while doing Performance Reviews: 1. Be future-focused.

1. Be Prepared

Managers should come prepared with performance data, employee feedback, one-on-one notes and more. This will help them establish a clear, collaborative agenda with their employees.

Traditional reviews focus primarily on past behavior and performance. While acknowledging the good is important, it’s equally valuable to discuss future-focused feedback.

Employees want ongoing feedback so they can make improvements in real time, rather than having to wait for annual reviews for Focusing on future goals also helps them feel that their bosses care about their success.

2. Be Focused

A performance review is an opportunity for managers to offer feedback that increases their people’s effectiveness. This feedback should focus on behaviors that impact their work or the people around them.

A common mistake is focusing only on gaps and things to fix; this can demoralize employees. A better approach is to talk about their strengths and how they can be utilized for future growth, positioning them to advance into new roles.

3. Be Honest

It’s important for managers to be honest during Performance Reviews. Employees need to understand the full picture and they’re more likely to be inspired to improve after receiving real feedback.

Keeping notes throughout the year will help you be more candid when it’s time for evaluations. That way, you won’t forget that one time they deftly handled a difficult situation or comprehensively executed an important project.

It’s also helpful to avoid negative language when giving feedback, as this can be demeaning and affect morale. Instead, focus on areas that can be improved upon and how these changes will benefit the company.

4. Be Flexible

During Performance Reviews, employees should have an opportunity to give feedback on their manager. This could help close the leadership gap as managers can learn how to best support their teams during the pandemic.

This can also be a good time for managers to address any concerns that their employees may have about the way they’re being evaluated. It’s important to have a discussion about how to improve the process and avoid any biases.

5. Be Positive

As much as many people dread performance reviews, they can actually be useful. They can be a time to review goals, discuss future expectations and provide constructive criticism.

Focusing on what an employee needs to improve is important, but focusing only on their weaknesses can be demeaning and hurt morale. Instead, a good manager should focus on how an employee’s strengths can be used to drive long-term success and company goals.

6. Be Open

Even if you have regular communication with your supervisor or manager, the performance review may feel like an uncomfortable event. That’s because it can be difficult to give and receive honest feedback, especially if it involves criticism or constructive feedback.

Be receptive to criticism and be open to discussion about where you are headed in your career. If your supervisor or manager believes you could benefit from professional development, discuss training or internal mentoring opportunities.

7. Be Honest with Yourself

When the day of a performance review comes around, it’s hard to recall all the wins throughout the year. This is why taking notes throughout the year can help.

If your manager brings up a topic that you know needs improvement or is not going well, don’t immediately jump to defense. Instead, provide your manager with context for the situation and give your feedback in a constructive manner.

8. Be Honest with Your Manager

Complimenting an employee’s positive qualities can help to keep them motivated. For example, if your manager is good at delegating tasks and empowering their team members you may want to mention this in their review.

Make sure to include any notable achievements in the past year. It can be hard for managers to remember all the wins throughout the year if they haven’t made notes about them. If there are areas of underperformance, address these directly and constructively during the meeting.

9. Be Honest with Others

Managers often struggle to be honest with their employees during performance conversations. They want to avoid confrontations or hurting feelings, so they tend to sugarcoat feedback or use generalizations.

To deliver genuine, constructive feedback, try to recall specific examples from the year that you can highlight during the conversation. This can help you avoid recency bias, where you only consider an employee’s recent behavior. This can lead to a biased, inaccurate evaluation.

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