One key strategy in human capital management is to regularly check up on the progress of your employees, sitting down with them to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and discuss ways that they can improve. Many choose to do this in the form of performance reviews, which they conduct on an annual basis.
So what’s the best way to do this? To get to the bottom of this issue, we reached out to members of Ceridian’s Customer Success Program, XOXO. Below are the responses given by seven HR leaders to one straightforward question – “What tips do you have for managers conducting yearly performance reviews?”
“I keep a draft email to myself open on all my direct report employees. Each week I add a line of information with goals or accomplishments the employee has achieved. I also add a line if I have had a concern or problem crop up with the employee. This is an active dialogue I keep with myself so I am not attempting to remember a year’s worth of data at evaluation review time.”
-Jennifer Soccio, VP of HR and risk management at Creative Solutions In Healthcare, Inc.
“I like to provide training to managers to clearly define the ratings and categories. I have found that most managers and employees don’t really understand what it means to meet or exceed expectations.”
-Amy Neill, Director of Payroll at Creative Solutions in Healthcare
“I think the biggest mistake people make is thinking that this is a time to identify problems with an employee’s performance. Issues should be dealt with immediately as they happen. Performance reviews should be a positive experience and a way of connecting with your staff to ensure that they have everything necessary to do their job.”
-Shauneen Kellner, Executive Director at the Arthritis Research Centre Society of Canada
“Make sure feedback is received and shared in a timely manner. Ask for customer, peer and manager response; 360 evaluations are helpful. Have the employee rate himself independently of the manager review.”
-Heather Walker, Health Promotion Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Holdings (Americas) Inc.
“Complete your top performers’ performance reviews first, and work your way down to the low performers last. As employees leave the discussions, the buzz will be positive at first, as opposed to a negative feeling if you do it the other way around.”
-Phil Wylie, Director of Talent Management at Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
“Annual performance reviews aren’t for sharing new information with your employee. It’s a review of past performance. If you find yourself discussing new information, set another meeting for later in the week. (Then consider meeting with the employee more often than once a year.)”
-Chris Salles, Director of Training at eLearning at Guitar Center
“Don’t let the review be a surprise. If you note a performance issue on the review, it should be something the employee is already aware of.”
-Patricia Fernandez, Sr. Payroll Specialist at Pelican Products
By following these seven tips, you should have a much stronger approach in place next time you sit down to review your employees’ performance. Good luck!