+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
Performance reviews should be a great opportunity for employees to find out what they are doing well and which areas they need to improve. However, most employees dread the process because too often it is not done well.
The problem usually occurs because a company does not have a system in place that guides both the manager and the employee in the discussion. The process doesn’t have to be very formal—you simply need to make sure the terms of the review are defined clearly so both manager and employee know what is expected. You need agreement on the measures of performance so there are no surprises. And your managers need to concisely articulate both these factors to your employees.
Here are four steps to follow:
1. Carefully review what your expectations are for the job. Can they be quantified, such as number of accounts managed or the number of customers served? Quantitative measures cover what is being done, but they are also important to identify how it is being done. For instance, requiring staff to return customer calls within a certain time period will help communicate your expectations on how they should treat customers.
2. Communicate these expectations to your employees. These don’t have to be formal or fancy. You can, for example, tell them the company’s "Five Rules for Excellence," or you can put it into a written document.
3. Have a scheduled time of review. Monthly, quarterly, or annually is up to you, but establish a time frame, tell your employees, and hold to it.
4. Conduct the review as you would like one conducted for yourself. Schedule it ahead of time and find a place where you won’t be interrupted. Send a message to your employees that this is an important process. They will feel more important. If done right, they probably won’t hate performance reviews.
The Fusion Factor
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.