7 Tips for Successful Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are a great way of understanding what makes your team tick. But do you sometimes feel uncomfortable having them? Don’t worry. These practical dos and don’ts are here to help.
Tip one: set the scene.
Some team members might feel a little nervous before a performance review. Set them at ease by booking a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted. Offer some refreshments and begin with an informal chat.
And make sure you’re well prepared before meeting. Have all relevant paperwork, like their development plans and performance records, to hand.
Tip two: invite self-appraisal.
Ask your team member to reflect on their performance by using open questions like, “Describe the last few weeks?” Or, “Tell me about your successes?” Don’t make the mistake of using the meeting to talk at your team member.
Tip three: offer constructive feedback.
Don’t spend too long on your team member’s shortcomings, as this could leave them demotivated and lacking in confidence. However, if their performance has dipped, be honest about the impact this is having on the team.
Ensure your feedback is specific and honest. Highlight the positives by pinpointing exactly what they did well. For example, “Your budgeting on that project was excellent.”
Tip four: beware of bias.
Be aware of (and challenge) your own assumptions about their performance, considering how your own personal opinions and beliefs might affect your judgment. Don’t allow recent events, good or bad, to have a disproportionate impact on the performance conversation.
Tip five: make it a two-way street.
Ask your team members’ opinion on how you can work together more effectively. Actively listen to what they’re telling you and acknowledge their suggestions.
Tip six: set objectives.
A key part of the meeting is looking to the future, where you both share ideas and agree on objectives together. Make sure objectives are “SMART” – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
Tip seven: finish on a positive note.
Finally, summarize the main areas where improvement is needed and how you will help. Ask your team member if there is anything else they want to discuss, and don’t forget to thank them for their time.