Managing A Team: Performance Reviews

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Performance reviews are an integral part of managing a team, and they are actually a vital tool that you can use to monitor, analyse, and improve the performance of your employees. You can also use the information gleaned in your performance reviews when it comes time to choose an employee to promote or assess whether or not a pay rise is deserved. However, if you are new to management, then the idea of conducting performance reviews can be a little daunting, so read on to learn more.

Why Conduct Performance Reviews?

Performance reviews are conducted for a number of reasons, and they offer several benefits too. However, they are predominantly used to measure the performance of your staff. Your staff’s work impacts the business in a number of ways, and it speaks to whether or not your business is going to reach its goals. During the performance review, you can also get a better idea of their productivity levels, strengths, weaknesses, and skills. By performing reviews regularly, you should be able to track your staff’s progress.

You can also use your performance reviews as an opportunity to come up with some goals for your staff; these goals can be chosen together by you and your staff, or you can set them yourself. They provide you with the opportunity to communicate your expectations to your staff. Areas of improvement are identified, and praise is given where deserved. It also provides your staff with the perfect forum to provide you with feedback too.

Performance Reviews Step-by-Step

When conducting a performance review, the first thing you need to do is to prepare. Then, realistically, it makes sense to look into your options in terms of systems that you can use to make the process easier. A lot of managers today are choosing to use HR software. For example, employee performances can be tracked, and reviews can be booked and organised through features on myhrtoolkit.

After this, you need to double-check whether or not there are any previous performance reviews conducted. If so, you should go through them to see whether your staff have made any progress or hit their previous targets. Jot some notes down so that you have an idea of the things you want to discuss, and you can also ensure that it is customised for each member of staff.

Next, it is time to sit down for the performance review. You should do your best to keep things light and conversational; it might be a formal experience, but you need to encourage a dialogue to form. You need your employees to feel comfortable so that they are receptive to the feedback that you have to offer them, and they feel as though they can give you feedback too.

Finally, either during or just after the performance review, you need to make a record of what was discussed. This provides you with something to refer back to at the next review to see whether or not progress was made. Some managers like to jot things down during the review and then have the employee sign it as an acknowledgement of what was discussed.

Why Do Performance Reviews Make Employees Uncomfortable?

The truth is that a lot of managers dread conducting performance reviews because of all of the admin. Employees, on the other hand, tend to be filled with apprehension and nerves when it comes to attending their performance reviews. They often feel as though their opinions and feelings aren’t welcome, listened to or valued. You need to do your best to make them feel heard.

The performance reviews can also sometimes get a little off track, which means that employees don’t actually feel their performance is being reviewed. Some managers find themselves gossiping with the employees during their one to ones, or worse, it can come across as a personal attack if personality traits are brought up. Focus on their work.

Unfortunately, almost everyone has their own set of biases, and these can colour performance reviews. Personal bias can affect your view of someone else’s success. The reviewer needs to be impartial and conduct them through a lens of neutrality. Customise each review – is the employee doing their best, and what have they achieved?

Lastly, performance reviews tend to take place once or twice a year, and this infrequency can cause a lot of anxiety for employees. The employee may also have forgotten what was discussed at the last review and therefore have forgotten the goals that were set for them. This isn’t to say that you need to hold a formal performance review every month, but you could hold a few informal catch-ups throughout the year to remind your employees of their targets and goals and how they can reach them.

Summary

Performance reviews can be an extremely useful tool for supervisors and managers alike. While a lot of employees do tend to feel worried when it comes to attending the reviews, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Instead, use the advice above to make the experience more positive for all involved.