Conduct satisfying and productive performance reviews

Performance reviews should be direct and thorough in order to be effective.

Performance reviews should be direct and thorough in order to be effective.

Performance reviews are sometimes difficult and frustrating, and need to be handled in a sensitive manner for a company to improve. So much of these conversations can change depending on the people involved, but are there basic guidelines to follow that could help businesses make these reviews better.

For the employer, preparing before a review, especially a difficult one, is essential to optimal operations in the long-term. Aside from making sure they are conducted regularly and accurately, here are three ways that businesses should focus on improving the review process for the sake of all parties involved:

  • Be direct and communicative: As a piece in The New York Times notes, in most cases it is far more cost-effective to address a situation immediately than let it develop over time and get worse. One former administrative manager interviewed by the source said she was once in a situation where she would have eagerly taken criticism, but her superior was unable to broach the topic.
  • Consider employee volunteer behavior: Adding volunteer data to the points assessed in an employee review helps to create a more-rounded portrait of that individual. Forbes recently reported on how looking at different types of volunteer work makes a review more specific and shows how an employee has developed their skills.
  • Make them thorough for future reference: A performance review can serve as useful evidence of employee behavior later on, as Jon Hyman says in a piece for Workforce. "They not only matter in managing your employees during their employment, but they also matter in defending lawsuits about their employment," he writes. "If you plan on terminating an employee on performance, you need to have the goods to back it up."

To handle all of the tasks needed to make a review work, consult professionals for guidance on proper HR software implementation.