What’s the deal with performance reviews?
As a business owner, you already know the importance of recruiting the best staff. As a leader, you want your team to perform at their best level. Many of you may also use performance reviews to conduct annual evaluations of staff work, efficiency, and morale. If you aren’t sure what exactly performance reviews are- don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Performance reviews are routine evaluations where the performance of a team member is documented and presented to them. This review can either be done in the form of a physical document given to the employee or a discussion given during a one-on-one meeting. Performance reviews can be given daily, weekly, quarterly or even, annually.
You may be wondering why they are so important…
Performance reviews serve a variety of purposes. They benefit both the employer and the employee so it is best practice to put a review process into place if you don’t already have one. Think of these like customer satisfaction surveys often presented by stores you may shop at or given online after receiving support from a company. Surveys are a good way to let people know what areas they are doing awesome in and which areas can be improved. To get the best performance out of someone, you must first let them know their expectations. Prior to giving a performance review, it is a fair practice that you give the employee a set of expected tasks or skills that you wish to be completed or learned.
So, why give reviews?
- For Promotion: Performance reviews allow you and the employee to clearly see how he or she is improving compared with earlier reviews. This review also shows whether an employee is ready to assume more responsibility. If several candidates are working for a promotion, but there’s only one open position, a supervisor must justify his or her choice by pointing to specific examples of exceptional professional achievement. Documentation allows physical evidence to back up your claims so be sure to keep a record of your reviews.
- For Compensation: Most employers are basing compensation decisions on staff merit and the company’s financial performance. Evaluations assess whether an employee deserves a salary increase based on performance and seniority. This also shows whether certain milestones were met to justify a bonus. An employee’s performance should determine their compensation. Great work deserves recognition and it is always a good feeling to be rewarded for it.
- For Training: Performance reviews highlight skill deficiencies and clearly point to where a staff member could use additional training. It’s also a way for employees to identify classes to prepare them for additional responsibilities. Another way to improve your review process is by showing the employee a set of skills or training that a similar role in the area requires so they are aware of the “norms” of the job. When management helps employees do their best, it raises company morale.
- For Discipline: Performance appraisals provide a valid paper trail that supports admin and legal processes to prove employee negligence, harassment, or other actionable behavior. Also, written documentation is usually more effective than verbal for addressing sub-par performance issues. Conversations regarding poor employee performance can be uncomfortable (for both the employer and the employee). So, having a “script” or supporting evidence makes things so a lot smoother.
Ideally, the feedback an employee receives regarding his or her strengths and weaknesses will be invaluable to showing how the staff member can put his or her interests and talents to the best use to benefit your company. Employee performance reviews are an easy way to ensure you and your employee are on the same page. In addition, by letting someone know where they can improve you are providing feedback that can improve performance dramatically.