How to Effectively Run Performance Reviews Part 2

graphic of employee profile and review

To read part one, click here

Tips for Administering Performance Reviews

Now that you’ve successfully identified the role you would like the performance review to take within your company, you can start fine-tuning the review process itself. Above all else, management should remain mindful that no two reviews should ever be the same: each individual has their own needs, communication styles, strengths, and weaknesses. 

Tip One: Don’t Forget the Praise

When conducting a performance review or communicating with your employees in general, it can be easy to leave out what your employees are doing well. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common errors management makes regarding employee communication and potentially one of the most destructive. 

Concrete evidence would suggest that regular praise affects workers in a big way. As much evidence as there is to prove that this is the case, it really isn’t necessary: it feels nice to be praised. It’s that simple. Positive reinforcement is one of the easiest things to strengthen any employee-management relationship. Not only does it simply feel good, but positive reinforcement can:

  • Improve employee confidence: While it may be obvious to you that an employee is doing well, it may not be obvious to them. Many workers have confidence issues or other inhibitors that prevent them from seeing their work as you do. Providing them with praise will improve their confidence, and inevitably their quality of work as well.
  • Reduce the load of criticism: Have you heard of the “feedback sandwich”? A feedback sandwich is when you surround constructive criticism with positive feedback. This ensures that with every criticism, the individual receiving the feedback has received twice as many positives to keep their confidence up. In addition, this ensures that your employees are regularly reminded of what they do well to continue working on what needs improvement.
  • Promote trust: It’s important to remind your employees that you trust them. Doing so by way of praise is an effective way of reminding your employees that you trust them to complete their jobs and to complete them well. Without trust, employee-management relationships can crumble, ending with shattered employee confidence and reduced performance.

Confidence is key. Raising your employees’ confidence levels may seem complex, but praise is the most effective and straightforward way to do so; praise is an invaluable tool. Not only do your employees deserve it, but correct utilization of praise can lead to increased performance within your team while costing your business nothing. 

Tip Two: Be Prepared

This may seem obvious. How can you give an effective performance review without being prepared for it? You can’t. In environments where performance reviews are typical, it can be tempting to go into each one with as little preparation as possible to make the process more efficient. In reality, however, that wastes more time: hastily done performance reviews are ultimately ineffective and are a complete waste of time for both employees and management. 

To properly prepare to administer a performance review, you should aim to fully comprehend your employee’s competencies, strengths, weaknesses, and preferred management and communication styles. This is why you must remain in regular communication with your employees. This can help you see for yourself which qualities they need to work on, which they are doing well, and how best to provide them with this information.

Being prepared to give performance reviews makes management’s life easier, but it will also have immense effects on the employees’ well-being and the larger culture of your organization. For example, if your employees understand that you take their evaluation seriously and prepare yourself well, then they will be more likely to take that feedback to heart. On the other hand, it can feel immensely disrespectful if your employees detect that you have not prepared for their performance review or are otherwise uninterested in providing them with effective and individualized feedback.

Tip Three: Ensure Feedback is Actionable

This can be an easily overlooked component of running an effective performance review. Providing constructive criticism to your employees can effectively inform them of their current performance and what they need to improve. What should also be considered, however, is what comes next: how can they improve? Simply supplying criticisms towards your employees will not offer them anything. Without truly actionable feedback, your employees will gain nothing from the performance review. Think through the way you phrase your feedback. For example: instead of telling an employee that their customer service skills need improvement, provide them with ways in which they can improve their customer service skills. Without giving that course of action for their continued progress in that skill, you are simply levying criticisms towards your employees while neglecting the constructive half of the equation. 

Tip Four: Seek Guidance

No one is expected to handle human resources management on their own. Performance reviews, personnel management, payroll, benefits, and countless other processes are undoubtedly taking a toll on the resources available to your organization. Even if you aren’t outsourcing the performance reviews themselves, it can be beneficial to outsource other tasks associated with human resources to free time and money to focus on the management of your employees themselves. 

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can be immensely beneficial. PEOs are organizations that act as co-employers for your employees. Co-employment means that the other organization will share employment responsibilities with you, including payroll management, risk management guidance, HR support, and other tasks that pertain to your employees.

If you want to learn more about PEOs and what they do, read our blog post entitled Pros and Cons of PEO. Wholly understanding what a PEO is and the tasks they relieve your organization of can help you weigh your options when seeking guidance regarding human resources issues.

Invest in Employee Management With Canal HR

Canal HR is a Professional Employer Organization with over three decades of experience serving the southeastern United States. Whether it’s payroll preparation, insurance guidance, retirement plan incorporation, or any other human resources issue, Canal HR is here to help. 

Outsourcing your human resources tasks can be an immense stress reliever for you and your organization. Fewer tasks regarding employee management leaves more time for the management of the employees themselves. Contact us today or visit our website for more information on how we can help you and your business.