How to Make Performance Reviews a Little Less Painful

Oh, the agony.

It’s performance review time again, and you’re already dreading the process:

  • The endless meetings.
  • The “deer in the headlights” look on employees’ faces.
  • The bad news you have to give.

We get it. But like it or not, performance reviews are an important part of your job. So instead of dreading the process, commit to improving it. Use these tips from PrideStaff to make your performance reviews a little less painful, and a lot more likely to achieve their intended goal: IMPROVING PERFORMANCE!

Change your mind set. Rather than looking at performance reviews as a platform for discussing employees’ failures and faults, focus on the positive aspects. Consider:

  • The opportunities a review presents. View the assessment as a chance to create a healthier, more productive working relationship with your employee.
  • Balancing positive with negative feedback. Even if an employee falls short in certain aspects of his or her job, devote equal time to the contributions he or she has made and successes he or she had.
  • Looking forward as much as you look back. Spend a good portion of the review planning for the future and setting your employee on a path for success in the year ahead.

When you plan for a more positive, forward-looking conversation (even if you have serious issues to address), you’ll dread the meeting less.

Make sure reviews are legally defensible. Nothing is more painful to your company than a lawsuit. And a faulty or sloppy review process greatly increases the risk that a disgruntled employee will turn into a litigious one. To ensure your performance reviews are defensible:

  • Make sure you’re adequately trained to conduct consistent, objective and effective reviews.
  • Communicate with employees ahead of time. Go over the process so your direct reports know what to expect. Include: purpose of reviews; their impact on employees’ jobs; how they are to be conducted; and what to expect during and after the review.
  • Use customizable appraisal forms, and tailor them to each type of position.
  • Use forms and rating scales to document reviews consistently and ensure they’re conducted in the same way.
  • Write up review summaries and distribute to all relevant parties.
  • Require each employee to sign and date his evaluation, to discourage disputes down the road.

Manage performance all year long not just at review time. By offering regular, constructive feedback (especially when an employee’s performance isn’t stellar) throughout the year, both parties will come into the annual review knowing what to expect (and that’s certainly less stressful!).

Looking for ways to improve employees’ performance?

Contact your local PrideStaff office today. As a leading national employment agency, we take a strategic approach to managing workforce issues like critical staffing gaps, chronic work and turnover which can impact performance at an individual and organizational level.