Provisional Blog

6 Tips for Conducting Better Performance Reviews

November 2nd, 2010

The end of the year is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about scheduling those dreaded employee performance reviews. While most employers – and employees – are uncomfortable with the process (after all, who likes giving or getting criticism), these reviews are a great opportunity to offer feedback, and revisit expectations and goals.

As an experienced Spokane staffing agency, we’ve put together some tips and advice to help make the review process a little less painful for you:

1. Create a performance file on each employee.

At the end of the year, it can be difficult to remember the good, the bad, and the ugly about every employee you’re reviewing. To make it easier, create a performance file for each employee and make notes throughout the year about their performance. Include letters from customers, copies of work (good or bad), and notes to yourself. While it’s too late to create files for this year’s reviews, consider implementing this idea to make next year’s performance review process easier.

2. Use an evaluation form.

A week before performance reviews, hand out evaluation forms to be completed by your employees. On the form, you should ask employees to note specific objectives and goals they have achieved over the course of the past year, what areas need improvement, and what their short- and long-term career goals are. Employees are often aware of their short-comings and this form helps to open the door to discuss them, as well as the more positive aspects of their performance.

3. Get input from others.

When appropriate, get feedback and specific performance examples from other staff members or from customers.

4. Set the tone with a positive.

Always start each performance review with a positive. This is a good time to tell each employee how much you value their hard work.

5. Be specific.

When you do have a criticism to offer an employee, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Give the employee an example where they didn’t meet expectations. Don’t just say something like: “You’re not a good communicator.” Instead, consider something like: “Some of the mistakes you’ve made are a result of not asking enough questions at the start of each project.”

6. Review regularly.

Implement a policy for regular performance reviews. For instance, make sure you evaluate employees every year. For new hires, you may want to conduct performance reviews at the three-month and six-month marks, as well.

Another reason you should consider regular reviews is to avoid having to conduct a review prompted solely due to bad behavior or poor performance. This can imply that information is being collected to document the poor performance should the employee be fired.

And if you need help implementing a performance review process, please contact Provisional, a Spokane staffing agency with over 16 years of experience.