Lengthy. Monotonous. Overly structured.
If that’s what you envision when thinking of the review process, stop. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there is a far more productive route, resulting in happier, more informed and more motivated workers. Here are five tips to maximize the entire process.
Focus on Setting Goals
Despite being called a “review”, said time shouldn’t be completely devoted to analyzing the employee’s performance to date. While integral, it's more beneficial to spend time setting benchmarks, goals and initiatives for moving forward.
Have More Than One Meeting Per Year
Many employers only conduct annual reviews at the end of the year. For various reasons, this is highly ineffective. Come December, you’ve already spent an entire year without measuring an employee's efforts to reach his or her objectives. An employee could potentially be failing for several months without knowing. Not only that, the end of the year can bring stress, and no one is immune. Consider holding a midyear review in addition to any other reviews.
Reviews are employees' chances to improve. In many ways, this will require them to listen to your feedback. Avoid the review transitioning into a lecture by listening to their input too.
Have a Conversation
Reviews are often overly rigid and formal. A key benefit of having reviews is building connections with team members. Take a few minutes before beginning to have a genuine conversation about current events or shared interests. This will help to break down the defensive wall that many employees harbor.
End on a High Note
Always be sure to end on a high note. If a review primarily praise, don't drain all of it and close with areas for improvement. Save a positive point or two for last. If a review is heavier on constructive criticism, it's even more important not to discourage your employee by finishing the conversation optimistically.