why it is so important to appraise your team in the current climate…
In recent years, performance reviews have drawn criticism for not being effective in driving improvement and growth, due to a variety of reasons. As a business, even more so at the moment due to the current climate it is vital to make sure you are regularly reviewing the performance of your team to ensure they are on target, to alleviate any concerns, to celebrate/commend good work and to improve performance overall. Longer term, this will ideally become part of a bigger performance conversation strategy in order to be effective for all parties involved.
To get the most out of your performance reviews, whether they be annual, quarterly, or even monthly, have a look at our checklist of things to consider below:
- Understanding their importance – in order to be successful, you must first understand the importance of carrying out performance reviews and their benefits, not simply going through the motions. They are crucial in making sure employees are on track to achieve, to assess employee development and to better determine compensation. Frequent reviews allow you to improve communication within your organisation which will aid in overall success.
- Frequency of reviews – whilst annual reviews may be the tradition, a lot can change within one year, even within one week, so it’s vital to create frequent conversations to ensure things aren’t missed and any changes are noted. Quarterly or monthly reviews allow you to make sure your team are on track with their goals and progress, allowing for more real-time coaching and involvement. They also allow for issues to be identified more quickly, resolved faster, and prevent any miscommunication. These can then be coupled with an overall and more informed annual review.
- Establishing a two-way conversation – to really engage with your employees, reviews should be considered as more of a two-way conversation, as opposed to being driven by solely by management. This allows employees to feel more considered in decisions, promotes trust and reduces anxiety.
These conversations also don’t need to be solely figures driven and can cover other areas of the employees performance such a achievements, challenges, future growth plan, key business changes, customer/peer feedback etc. In allowing these conversation to flow more freely and cover wider aspects, they will help to ensure your employees goals are aligned with that of the company and give you more insight into how to better manage your team.
- Making them transparent – ensuring that employees are fully involved within the review process will not only help to reduce any fears/worries but will also allow for more in-depth conversations. This can be done by getting employees involved from the get-go with the planning and preparation, allowing you to both create lists with the main points to discuss.
- Creating space and time – whilst it can be hard already to fit everything into the work week, it is incredibly important to take the time to properly carry out performance reviews. Employees don’t want to feel rushed and as if their opinions are being fully acknowledge. So make sure you allow plenty of time to discuss everything on the agenda and ensure this is done in a quiet, safe space so that employees can be honest and open with you.
- Coming prepared – Like many aspects of business, preparation is key to success. This starts with creating a plan for what you want to gain out of the performance review from measuring success to creating future goals. Then ensuring that you bring any relevant data to your meeting whether this be KPI driven data, examples of recognition, notes from previous reviews to see whether goals have been achieved, feedback from other manages etc… This will help to ensure the review is as 360 ° as possible.
- Aligning expectations – These reviews are a great chance to ensure you are all working towards the same goal. This can be a hard conversation when employees are not hitting objectives, but you can give real insight into how to help support your team members and give them clarity as to what their responsibilities need to be. Try not to let employees’ dwell on the negative by highlight other aspects they have done well and providing constructive feedback on other areas.
- Future focused – Whilst it is important to reflect on the past, it is best to acknowledge it and drive the conversation towards the future. What do you want to achieve? How can you do this better next month? How can I support you over the next few weeks to hit that target? This helps focus of the conversation be more real-time, give employees more immediate feedback so they can develop faster and makes employees feel more engaged as you are showing you value their future with you as an employer.
- Active listening – Listening is crucial to the success of performance reviews because it shows the employee you really understand their position. You want to listen so can learn how to best support your employee, understand how they are feeling at work and follow up with question so you can get the full picture.
- Next steps – The conversation should not end when the meeting does. Establishing the next steps, whether they quarterly or monthly goals, gives the employee something to focus on going forward and can drive improved performance.
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