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3 Tips for Performing an Effective Employee Review

As a manager, one of your duties is to conduct monthly, quarterly, or annual employee reviews. These meetings let you talk with each employee about their accomplishments, challenges, and concrete ways to improve performance. Although these discussions can be difficult, they are necessary to ensure your employees align on shared goals and have a plan for future improvements.

Implement these three tips to conduct your next employee review.

1. Prepare Your Feedback in Advance

Gather your thoughts and data about the employee’s performance well before the review. Use the information to fill out the employee evaluation form. This can serve as the framework for your discussion. Make sure your remarks are direct, concise, and transparent. Include specific examples of what the employee has been doing well and how they can improve. This should clarify your goals and expectations and avoid confusion. Have a copy of the evaluation form ready to give the employee to reference and stay on track with the improvements you requested.

2. Maintain a Two-Way Conversation

Encourage an open discussion about the employee’s performance. You want to promote trust, clarity, and alignment with company goals. For instance, find out what they believe to be their greatest strengths, biggest challenges, and areas they can improve in within a month, quarter, or year. You may ask questions such as, “What is the accomplishment from the review period that you are most proud of?” “Which areas do you think you need to improve the most in?” Or, “How can I support you in reaching your goals?” Also, clarify your expectations and evaluation guidelines. In order to stay engaged, the employee should know the level they should be performing at and how their success will be measured. Additionally, actively listen to what the employee says. Repeat what you hear to make sure it is accurate. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.

3. Focus on the Future

Share your goals and plans for the employee to improve their performance. For instance, involve them in creating an action plan to set milestones and reach objectives in line with company goals. Clarify that you want them to succeed and are available to discuss their concerns and challenges. End the discussion on a positive note with motivation and hope for the future.

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Delivering a Negative Performance Review – 4 Ways to Turn It Around

No one wants to critique an employee’s negative performance. And no one wants to get a negative performance review. But if an employee is slipping and hasn’t self-corrected, there is no way around it. 

Performance reviews boost productivity and drive engagement. A negative performance review can do that, too, if you frame it correctly.

Here are four ways to deal with an employee who is missing the mark without sending them into a downward spiral.

Start with a Self-Assessment

The worst part of a negative performance review tends to be the surprise with which it is met. If the employee thinks things are still going okay or if they’re trying so hard to tread water that they don’t see their performance, then hitting them with criticism can do lasting damage.

One way to ease into the process is to give your employee a chance to take a lead. A self-assessment gives you both a clear, honest idea of where they think they are and how they perceive their work.

Then, you can find places to naturally start a conversation. Plus, it allows you to see if their performance has less to do with failure and more to do with a difference in expectations.

Identify and Develop Strengths

No one is good at everything. Everyone learns and grows differently. These two principles are important to keep in mind during your performance review.

So rather than focusing solely on what’s going wrong, look for the reasons why, and start asking whether it’s an issue of you prioritizing your employee’s strengths.

Remember: you can’t ask a marathoner to sprint or vice versa without seeing a drop in performance. It doesn’t mean their not a good employee. It just requires realigning roles and expectations.

Use Your Emotional Intelligence

Your ability to deliver bad news has less to do with the message and more to do with your delivery. You’ll rely heavily on your emotional intelligence as you navigate the review.

One of the most difficult things you’ll learn to do is manage your own expectations when your employee doesn’t just have bad habits — they’re also a problem employee.

It’s important to stay calm and collected regardless of what way the talk goes. You don’t want to inflame the situation because no one wins.

Frame It as a Chance to Succeed

The only thing worse than getting a poor performance review is knowing that you’ve been doing something wrong for weeks — or even months — and no one told you.

So rather than framing a negative performance review as something ‘bad,’ reframe the whole experience as a chance to succeed. If you can reframe it in your mind, you will not only be able to better deliver the news, but you’ll dread it less and won’t feel as drained afterward.

Negative Performance Reviews Can Be Positive Opportunites

No one becomes a leader so they can dole out criticism all day. Unfortunately, it’s part of the territory. However, you can deliver these reviews in a way that creates an opportunity for growth for both the employee and the whole team.

Are you looking for IT professionals to join your team and execution your vision? RightStone is placing quality IT consultants right now. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


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