Human Resources

Management Skills: Performance Reviews


One of the most important skills to being a good manager is knowing how and when to provide honest feedback to your subordinates in a productive way. They need to know where they’re meeting the goals you’ve set for them and the areas that they need to improve. A performance review is the perfect time to outline their past successes and the future expectations
you have for them. Here’s what you need to know to conduct a performance review that will provide results.

Be Prepared
Before you can begin any review process, you need to be familiar with the work history of your subordinates.
Review any records and projects notes related to each employee.
Make note of what successes they each created in the workplace.
Record any areas where improvement can be made.
Set an appointment time for each employee to have a private, uninterrupted review meeting.
Give each employee questions to consider in advance related to their achievements, professional goals, and any roadblocks that they need to overcome.

The Meeting
Be sure that each meeting is private and set up in a place and time where you can be without interruption. Giving your employees your undivided attention reveals how committed you are to supporting them in the workplace.
Explain the importance of the performance review process.
Help the employee be-at-ease by having a general, casual discussion before starting the review.
Always use specific examples from the employee’s performance to support discussions of behavior.
Don’t just give a 1-5 ranking of performance. Support each ranking with details related to the employee’s performance.
Discuss short-term and long-term goals for employee development and improvement.

Closing the Meeting
Remind each employee of your commitment to help him or her succeed.
Make sure the employee understands what you’ve said. Answer any questions they might have.
Have the employee sign off on the performance goals for the next review period.
Always end on a positive note that reinforces the value the employee brings to the workplace.

Post-Meeting Goals
Make a summary of your meeting for the employee’s records. Have the employee review what you’ve prepared.
Don’t hesitate to fill out any paperwork or create any reports. Your memory of the meeting will fade over time and crucial details might be lost.
If you made promises or commitments, keep them. Don’t let poor organization keep you from meeting your own goals as a manager.
Check-in with your subordinates on the effectiveness of the review process and any areas where they want further improvement to aid in their own workplace effectiveness.

Tips for Being a Good Reviewer
Always be supportive.
Actively listen and respond to what’s being said.
Be willing to take criticism and accept suggestions for improvement.
Avoid asking questions that are inappropriate and unnecessary for the review.
Try to encourage discussion by avoiding questions with simple yes or no answers.