Providing feedback to employees can be a difficult but vital process to ensuring the professional, and sometimes personal, development of workers.
While most businesses opt for a once-yearly approach to performance reviews, these less-frequent engagements can sometimes be viewed as forced and can often be a cause of stress and anxiety for both the employee and the manager, if not dealt with correctly.
So, instead of turning the performance review period into a clinical, nerve-wracking annual event for your staff, you can manage performance reviews in a positive and productive way with some of our tips.
Provide continuous feedback
Rather than scheduling a catch-up once or twice a year, managers should arrange to meet their team members on a fortnightly or monthly basis to discuss workload and upcoming projects and to provide feedback on the time that has passed since the last meeting.
By discussing any issues you have with the employee’s work as they arise, they are able to be dealt with before they become a bigger issue. No good can come from holding on to feedback from a minor incident that occurred in February if the annual performance review isn’t taking place until May. Further, raising a historical issue retrospectively will only seem petty and will overshadow any positive feedback you have provided.
On a positive note, these regular catch-ups also provide an opportunity to praise team members for a job well done, which in turn helps to create a working environment where employees feel encouraged and appreciated.
Use peer reviews
If your business is not already doing so, take advantage of software that allows for 360-reviews. These systems encourage employees to review their peers who are not within their immediate team.
These types of reviews are useful in understanding an employee’s broader value and skill set. A team leader may not have known, for example, that one of their direct reports had pulled together some crucial information for an important client pitch without another employee relaying that feedback to them.
Peer review systems should remain anonymous and go both ways (bottom to top and top to bottom) so that any concerning management issues being experienced by more junior staff members may be identified.
Offer quality feedback
There is little to gain from telling an employee that they are simply doing a good or bad job. Even the most stellar performer will be expecting tangible examples of how they can push themselves to be even greater.
Pinpoint exactly what the staff member is doing well and not so well and offer useful, practical suggestions on how they can keep up the good work or change their ways to enhance the quality of their work.
If you need assistance with managing performance reviews, speak to one of our HR consultants at Preston HR.