Performance reviews are a crucial part of an employee’s personal and professional development and help the business to track how the employee is improving or excelling, or if their workload and performance needs to be managed. Most employers conduct performance reviews at least once a year.
In recent times job descriptions and responsibilities have evolved and adapted, particularly as working from home and flexible working arrangements have become more widely accepted. As such, many employees now feel that performance reviews do not quite capture the full extent of their roles and duties. This can create issues for businesses who must undertake regular performance reviews to satisfy many elements of their operations, but they can also be stifling to employees who do not feel that the reviews adequately encompass their efforts and contributions.
So, how can managers effectively review employees’ performances while ensuring fairness to their workers?
Set goals and objectives regularly
Each time an employee changes roles or is given a new set of responsibilities, managers should seek to set new goals and objectives for them. Don’t be afraid to revisit the previous goals and objectives and add, delete or edit as you both see fit. Even if this activity is occurring on a six-monthly basis, the goals and objectives should be relevant to the role being performed at present.
Rather than (or as well as) one yearly reviews, why not undertake less formal, more frequent reviews? A monthly check-in with your employees can help to steer them back on course if they have lost their way and to nip any problems in the bud as they arise. It also presents a great opportunity to congratulate and thank the staff who are going above and beyond. Recognition can go a long way to reaching the next goal.
Agree to new objectives
Maybe the problem is not that the objectives aren’t realistic, but that they are outdated. If the role has changed, it is likely that what the team or the employee is working toward has, too.
Sit down with your team member and ask them what they believe the real objectives of their work are. Once you both approve the main points, write them down and agree either by signing or making a declaration to meet the objectives. Your staff will appreciate being given some autonomy over their work’s end game.
Focus on the learnings
Not every piece of work has to result in a win. Sometimes a project can fail, be rejected, or not be as impressive as it was thought to be when the work commenced. These are not necessarily negative occasions and you should think of them as learning experiences. As a conversation piece, ask your team members to reflect on why the project failed to take flight. Treat this session as another mini-review and emphasise the learning opportunities that can come out of it.
Highlight the meaning of a review
Performance reviews can seem to be one-sided, particularly when an employee may not feel as though they are doing their best or if they are not receiving recognition or gratitude when they do a good job. In reality, performance reviews are two-sided and can be just as beneficial for the employee as they can be for the employer. Make your annual performance review time a positive experience. Highlight to staff that reviews provide a forum for shining a spotlight on their good work and most notable achievements as well as being an opportunity to nominate colleagues who have gone above and beyond in their own roles.
To chat more about this topic and find out how we can improve your work environment, give our experienced HR Consultant a call on (07) 4052 0700.