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This could be because performance reviews can be difficult for managers and employees to comfortably navigate. To help address this, there are things that managers can do to master performance reviews, here are just a few tips.
Performance reviews can be a source of anxiety and stress for employees. Your goal as a manager is to help an employee be their best, and it is unlikely an employee can be at their best if they are anxious or stressed. To alleviate some of their anxiety around what to expect in the performance review, send out a meeting agenda outlining key things you would like to cover. Take the time to voice your role in supporting them to be at their best.
Before meeting with an employee, make sure you have spent sufficient time understanding each employee, their role, and their job responsibilities before conducting any performance reviews. This increases the chances of being prepared and more effective during the review process. Be sure to write everything down; also bring any supporting documentation to the performance review to refer back to if there are questions.
Make sure to focus on tangible facts and metrics that draw a clear line to the employee’s performance in relation to identified and communicated goals. It would be unreasonable to grade an employee if they were unaware of their role, responsibilities and how they would be measured. There should be no surprises to an employee at this juncture. If you have a clear understanding of their role, job duties and the impact to departmental as well as company goals, it increases your ability to help the employee set reachable goals.
When providing employees with feedback about metrics that demonstrate how they did, make sure to identify the exact metrics used, why these were selected, and what they mean to the department and the company. Throughout the performance reviews, these metrics must be clear, accurate, and allow for feedback. Employees should be able to leave the performance review with a full level of understanding around the feedback you have provided.
It is important the feedback you provide is constructive. Don’t just focus on the negative – strive to be positive whenever possible and give actionable advice. Employees should be able to take the feedback you have given them and understand the steps they need to take towards improving their performance. If they are unclear of what action they need to take, then they are unlikely to make any necessary changes.
After following these tips, it is essential you discuss with the employee their career interests, potential training and education options that may help them in this regard. Employees have goals and aspirations and need to know you and the company have an interest in supporting their advancement as well as company goals.