Conducting a performance review must be taken very seriously!
Remember the consequences may be more far reaching than you think!
As an example, the words you put down on paper will last forever and ever! It generally doesn’t matter when everyone is happy; however, when an employee becomes disgruntled everything changes. Much like a marriage where two people stand up in front of God and witnesses and promise to love and cherish each other until death do they part! We already know how that plays out.
So before conducting a performance review take a look at what you have put down on paper about the employee. If a promotional opportunity becomes available how will the review you have committed to paper play out if an employee challenges who received the promotion? If you stated in your performance review that the employee walks on water in an effort to make them feel good or to avoid confrontation, you may be fighting an uphill battle that may be impossible to win.
Conducting a performance review is a very serious part of managing employees. When an employee is a good performer it is a pleasure to meet with them and discuss how well they did over the previous year.
On the other hand when an employee is not performing well there are certain things we must make sure of throughout that year prior to sitting down with them during a performance review. First, anytime an employee is not performing well it should not come as a shock to them during the actual meeting with you at the performance review. You should have already been documenting any poor performance throughout the year. That may include a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), or even some type of disciplinary action. The key is if it is important enough to rate the employees performance poorly at the end of the year then it must have been just as important throughout the year. In other words, document during the year if they are not meeting their performance standards.
Of course one of the most meaningful reasons for conducting a performance review is because employees love feedback. One of the primary reasons an employee leaves a job is not based on how much money they are paid, but rather whether or not they feel appreciated. Not conducting some type of performance review program an employee feels like you are taking them for granted. If you want to decrease productivity and increase turnover, ignore a basic responsibility of your leadership role.
Choose your words carefully as we have already discussed. Stick to the facts only and try and avoid feelings. Try and reference actual performance. It’s ok to use broad brush statements like, “John is an amazing employee…” but make sure you follow it up with substance. As an example, “John is an amazing employee when it comes to stepping in and volunteering to work overtime when the department requires it.”
Also we must be careful or how we use our language. As an example, we may think we are saying something very benign but to someone else it could mean you are headed for a discrimination charge.
As an example, you may think you are throwing out a compliment by stating to a great female employee a statement like, “As a female employee you one of the most talented welders we have.” Stating that they are a female has nothing to do with their ability to weld and may cause you a discrimination charge if a male employee receives a promotion or any other benefit over her.
So, just be careful and think before you write it down and give it to them when conducting a performance review on any of your employees.
Thank you and may God bless you!