For many managers, annual performance reviews can be an unnecessary stress. Beyond the seemingly endless paperwork and tedious meetings, providing review comments that are constructive and beneficial can be tricky balancing act. If you come across as too negative, you may lose the positive relationship you had with the employe. If you come across too positive, you may miss the opportunity to miss out on a much needed coaching opportunity.
Its important that you as a manager you get the right feedback balance so that both you and your employees get the most out of the process. Some managers prefer the ‘Feedback sandwich’, which is the process whereby you give positive than negative than positive feedback, however this process may not be beneficial to either of your star performers or your stragglers.
Performance reviews are an analysis of an employee's performance at a fixed point in time to determine the stated objectives and expectations the employee has met. These performance reviews are between the manager/line manager and the employees, and can be conducted as managers feel are the most beneficial. However, it is common for companies to hold these reviews on an annual basis. Each review should go over the goals that were set out and the review should examine how well the employee has done to reach these goals. Some managers prefer employees to rate themselves (self assessments), while others prefer a peer to peer review (360 degree review).
As a manager, it’s important to prepare for these performance reviews with your employee. here are some examples:
Give feedback in a constructive and specific manner:
Example: You delivered your reports in a timely manner, however you need to be accurate with your data on X.
Try and avoid surprises:
Example: instead of saying I've been meaning to say, say: as we have discussed before. Always try and relate feedback to past events.
Try and document exemplary or poor performances throughout the year to keep track and be automatically prepared when the performance review comes.
Always verify your source:
If an employee's performance was obtained through hear say, remember to make sure its not just office gossip. Try verify the information before confronting the employee in question. Also, try and avoid revealing the source of the information as this may cause unnecessary conflict in the workplace, loss of employee’s trust, and animosity amongst co-workers.
It’s imperative that the conversation is professional
Personal issues should not be discussed when conducting a performance review. Always stick to the issues that are related the organisation and try and keep the conversation consistent with the goals and objectives set out.
Dont be the only one talking
Remember it’s a two way conversation, let the employee speak about their problems they may have encountered and try to determine ways to solve these problems.