Six Steps to Better Performance ReviewsThe employee performance review. It’s often dreaded, perhaps by both parties, and it’s frequently mistreated, sometimes even ignored.

It shouldn’t be. It’s an important part of the process of being a good leader, and maintaining a healthy team morale.

It gives your staff something to work towards and helps motivate them to grow. But it also gives you, as the team leader excellent insight into how things are going with your team members.

If done well.

Six Steps to Better Performance Reviews

Kathryn Minshew founder and CEO of  The Muse, provides six great tips for doing them well.

  • Manage expectations in advance. Create an agenda so your employees understand what to expect. Start the meeting off by outlining the format and the items you will cover. Focus on your employee, and how you want to make their experience better.
  • Ask how they are doing. Starting off by asking how things are going for the employee sets the tone for the meeting and shows you want it to be an engaging, two-way conversation. Minshew suggests it also gives your employee the opportunity to be proactive in suggesting any areas of challenge or opportunity before you bring them up.
  • Be specific and constructive in your feedback. Start off with the positive and recognize where your employee excels. Show that you do see and value this person and their contribution to the group. This sets the stage for when you are ready to bring up the areas in which she can improve.
  • Help them grow. No review should be 100 percent glowing and positive. Even if we are talking about a star employee here, everyone wants to do better and grow professionally. How can you help your employee to do this? If they have nothing to work for, they won’t strive to do better, may lose motivation, and move on somewhere where they are challenged.
  • Show what opportunities might exist. In line with the previous point, talk about the future with your employee. Where does she/he see themselves in six months, a year or further out? Are there promotion opportunities? Is there chance for a raise or a bonus? Are you launching new projects or new business units for which you might want help?
  • Ask reverse questions. Ask your employee how he/she feels he is performing. Ask them what is working and what isn’t. Show genuine interest and concern about their happiness. It is, after all, very important to you and your organization.

Give your next round of employee performance reviews the attention they deserve and you may just be surprised what you find - you’ll learn more about what is and isn’t working internally, but you’ll also build greater relationships with your team.

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