5 Tips for Conducting Performance Reviews

A performance review is a process of assessing an employee’s progress toward goals. Performance reviews are important for evaluating and providing constructive feedback to your employees. It’s important to communicate in advance, to set expectations for your employees, and to meet frequently to follow up on the employees’ goals. The human resource (HR) department plays a vital role in the administration of performance reviews. HR has the opportunity to educate themselves and then transfer that knowledge to managers in order to correctly conduct performance reviews.

Follow these performance review tips to ensure these meetings go smoothly and are effective for both the employee and employer.

5 Performance Review Tips

Tip 1. Get organized and prepare 

Find a time and place that works best for both parties. Schedule the performance review in advance in a private meeting room or virtually. Advise the employee to think about what goals they want to work on throughout the year and ask them to come prepared to discuss. You can also advise the employee that you will have goals in mind as well. Make sure enough time has been scheduled; you don’t want to rush through a great discussion!

Tip 2. Communicate in advance 

Whether you’re a small or large company, be sure to communicate to all of your employees when performance reviews will kick-off. It’s critical for employees to be aware of deadlines and to prepare accordingly. For example, if employees need to meet with their supervisor by a certain date to have their goals established, they need to be aware. After all, we want to empower our employees to take their goals and performance into their own hands. Be sure to also schedule a follow-up to have frequent touchpoints on their performance throughout the year.

Tip 3.  Create a dialogue

At the initial performance review, first listen to what the employee has to share. You can then add in your input based on behaviors or scenarios you have witnessed. It’s important for the supervisor to be able to provide the employee with constructive feedback. If you have seen an area that needs improvement, bring it forward. Then talk through that area and come up with a plan to overcome this challenge. At each additional follow-up meeting, talk about what went well and opportunities for advancement. Don’t forget to focus on the positives and highlight the employees strengths, too! You can also encourage the employee to reach out between performance review meetings for additional coaching.

Tip 4. Provide feedback that is unique and tailored 

Every employee is different and  not every individual communicates in the same way. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with those being evaluated. The feedback being provided must be tailored to the individual.  Some individuals may be more motivated when given a new task or assignment. Others, such as new hires or junior staff members, could benefit greatly from praise or reassurance. The more managers tailor their feedback to the individual, the more understood the team as a whole feels.

Tip 5. Set goals 

When setting goals the manager must be clear and specific. If there is any misunderstanding between the manager and the employee on what he/she must achieve, then neither party will succeed. Also, when managers are setting goals for their employees it is important to instruct clear paths on how they can achieve them. Goals assist managers and employees in working towards a common destination and help keep them focused.

Society Insurance is Here to Help

Performance reviews are important for evaluating and providing constructive feedback to your employees. Create a clear dialogue with your employees. Put your best foot forward and incorporate some of these performance review tips into your internal processes. Browse our HR blog series for additional tips to help engage your workforce. 

Additional Tips


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