The Ultimate Guide to Giving Better Performance Reviews

Posted by Julie • July 19, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 2 min read

When it comes to the performance review, are you always 100% focused on the task at hand in order to achieve a meaningful outcome for both you and the employee? Only 8% of companies report that their performance management process drives high levels of value, while 58% said it is not an effective use of time. Don’t waste your time on ineffective performance reviews with these tips:


1. Specificity

Do you know what this individual has been working on in the weeks prior to the review? If not, take the time to think about it beforehand and jot down some notes so you’re able to be clear and concise. Specify exactly what you think they are doing well, as well as what needs improvement so they have a baseline for the next performance review.


Read more about annual performance appraisals and why they’re a tool, not the goal.


2. Preparation

The likelihood of a performance review going well without any preparation beforehand is very unlikely. As the manager, you need to know what’s going to be said and what direction the review should be going at all times. Without preparation, the review could be a waste of time for both you and the employee.


3. Let them know they’ve done well

If your employee has done a good job and worked hard, it’s imperative you let them know. Always acknowledge the extra work your team puts in and give positive feedback to help it continue. 73% of surveyed employees said being recognized made them happier at work and 35% said it made them happier at home. Foster happy employees by recognizing a job well done.


Read about 6 practical rewards to increase employee performance.


4. Set Goals and Focus on Strengths

Use the performance review to set goals for your employees and ways to help them get there. Laying out a timeline for goals will increase the chance of employee development throughout your team. Be sure to concentrate on the strengths each individual has and work to better those rather than harping on weaknesses.


5. Be Conscious of Their Career Path

Ask your employees where they see themselves within the next year or the years to come and set up goals accordingly. Coupling goal outcome with employee strengths and career progression will help individuals cultivate their talents, so they are able to grow with the organization.


High-quality formal reviews increase employee performance by 25% and employment engagement by 35%. Simply giving pats on the back and rewards with no reasoning will certainly not help employees learn and progress. Performance reviews are not always easy, but they can always be effective. Be sure to take these guidelines back to your organization for a well-managed performance review every time.


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