Performance reviews can be a nerve wracking experience for all parties. This is especially true for new business owners who have never evaluated employees before, and may not know how to approach this important aspect of performance management.
There are a number of different ways to structure a performance review, each with its own merits and drawbacks.
Descriptive performance reviews: this type of review ranks different competencies and aspects of an employee's performance on a descriptive scale (superstar, good, about average, to be improve). Each scale rating should be clearly defined, and each rated area should leave room for a brief explanation from the reviewer.
Numerical scale performance review: This review is nearly identical to the descriptive review, but instead uses a numerical system (1=no met, 5= Superstar) to assess a team member's performance. Again, the scale should be defined and each score should be explained on the review.
Narrative performance review: Instead of assigning a rating to each competency area, managers simply answer written questions about an employee’s performance and cite specific examples to support their responses.
It's imperative that managers view performance review as thoughtful and should provide a chance to look at someone’s overall performance from many performance. Rigid structures, where managers are forced to apply the same method to all employees, is not engaging at all.
Here are 5 steps a manager can use to provide maximum feedback and perspective on an employee's performance:
- Gather a list of reviewers: create a list that will give a balanced representation of different relationships and varying viewpoints. The goal is to have multiple people provide feedback for each employee (manager review, 360 degree review & self assessments).
- Collect the feedback: Set up a due date for when every person on the list should have the feedback completed by. All employees should submit their own feedback during this part of the process so they aren't biased by the other responses.
- Create a feedback report: Read and understand each feedback given in full. Categorize it into either positive responses or opportunities for improvement. if needs be, alter the feedback so it hides the identity of the respondents.
- Schedule a feedback meeting: share the feedback report with the employee. read it together, reflecting on strength first. after identifying key messages in strengths section, move onto the areas for improvement. Be sure that t take the time and allow the employee to process the review. Always remember to end the performance review of a positive note.
- Schedule a follow up to agree on action plan: revisit the review and ask the employee if they have any questions to ask and how they feel now that they have had the time to review their review. Create an action plan to make the suggested improvements. Ask them in which ways you can help, and gain their commitment to improving and ensure they see the value in doing so.