The benefits of employee performance reviews
Contributed by Rachel Austin, Director of Corporate Trades for EV Construction
‘Employee Performance Reviews’ mean a lot of different things across different industries, companies and even between departments. In the worst-case scenario, this is an opportunity for the manager or employee to unload everything that’s frustrated them lately. In the best-case scenario, it’s an opportunity to highlight the individual successes of an employee and how those successes contribute to the company’s overall success. In the latter scenario, everybody will be far more likely to leave the conversation on an emotional high.
However, it is important to note that regardless of a person’s performance record, the word ‘review’ can put people on edge. Combat this anxiety by creating an environment of openness and safety. I subscribe to the philosophy that you shouldn’t be saving any bad news, or conversely, holding back praise in anticipation of a more formal conversation. Give the feedback in real-time. ‘No surprises’ is a good motto to have when it comes to an employee review. Most of the conversation should be affirming the ongoing dialogue between an employee and their manager.
As the manager, do your homework to set the conversation up for success. Make sure that the time of day makes sense, your potential for interruption is minimal and the environment is relaxed. As an employee, put your best foot forward. Show up to the meeting prepared for the conversation, look professional and bring a notebook to jot down any important conversation topics or action items that come from the meeting.
The employee isn’t the only one vulnerable to surprises. If you’re the manager and something hits you from left field, be open to other perspectives, ask questions and listen more than you talk. Ask the employee what they need from you to succeed, and if there are any barriers that are holding them back from accomplishing their, or the company’s, goals. If there are barriers, figure out how to get them out of the way, block and tackle!
Always end on a positive note and with action items. I highly recommend writing down Who is going to do What by When (WWW). The positive energy and feeling of momentum will foster engagement and authentic connection.