If you’re like most managers, giving performance reviews is far from your favorite part of the job. Whether you consider them a mere formality or just plain awkward, having these meetings with your employees never feels particularly productive.
What you might not realize, is performance reviews can actually be valuable to both you and your team. Here’s some advice to help make this mandatory task more interesting and useful for everyone.
5 Tips to Make Your Performance Reviews More Meaningful
Set SMART Goals
Vague goals are nothing but a formality. If you really want your employees to succeed, help them create SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound — goals. This will put the two of you on the same page and give them something concrete to work toward.
Use Examples to Explain Your Assessment
No doubt, your performance reviews include both positive and negative behaviors exhibited by the employee. The thing is, it can be hard for people to understand what you’re talking about without a specific example. Hearing exactly what they’re doing right or need to improve will help them learn and grow.
It can be hard to get motivated to do something you’re not excited about — i.e., prepare performance reviews. However, the longer you wait to get started, the less meaningful it will be. There’s no way you can accurately assess an employee’s behavior from the past year the night before the meeting. Taking detailed notes throughout the year will allow you to deliver feedback that actually helps them.
Give Employees the Floor
You’re the boss, but that doesn’t mean you get to do all the talking. Make employees feel valued by encouraging them to come to their review with questions, comments, and concerns. This is the time to discuss their career development, so allow them to tell you what’s going well with their job and what they’d like to improve.
Meet on a Regular Basis
Performance reviews held once a year are barely effective because things change quickly in business. Goals set one month might be irrelevant the next, so it’s important to check in with employees throughout the year to see how things are going and make any necessary adjustments. Brief check-ins on a monthly or quarterly basis will help you stay in sync with employees and ensure they’re working toward success.
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