Conducting an Employee Performance Review

The dread of conducting an employee performance review! We shouldn’t dread the process at all. Instead, conducting a performance review should be an opportunity to insure your staff members stay on course, while at the same time act as a tool to coach and mentor them.

The best piece of advice I can give to you is to be as specific as possible about the good and the not so good parts of their performance so that they actually reference something.

Let me give you an example of how general information is hard to react to. If you are working at a fire department in New York City and a call comes in that a building is on fire. You ask what building and they tell you it’s located in town and they beg you to hurry before it burns to the ground. You ask again for more specifics and they tell you look for the one that is on fire. I hope you see where I’m going with this. If you want action you must give specifics.

The second most important piece of advice is to be honest. Don’t blow smoke up the back side of anyone in an effort to make them feel good or avoid confrontation. Any attempt at avoiding confrontation only delays it. It will erupt at some point if you are not honest from the outset.

When writing your reviews on your staff no matter what their specific jobs are it is best to use the same rating categories. As an example job knowledge, safety, reliability, team work, customer service, and many other generic ones are a good place to start.

No matter what they do, whether a surgeon or housekeeper, you can rate them on their job knowledge.

Same for all the other categories as well!

Before you commit anything to paper take a step back and compare employees that have the same jobs.

Rate them in your head on all the categories. Be very objective about how you decide who is best and who is worst. Remember this is just a mental exercise and not put on paper. After you have put them in order that is exactly how I would go about writing their performance reviews. Either begin with the least productive employee and work your way up or the best and work your way down. This will allow you to stay consistent so that when you are writing each one it will use the type of language that signifies they are better or worse than the one before. It beats using a lot of white out.

Also remember when you are conducting an employee performance review that employees compare notes. In other words if you tell them all that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread it will eventually get around and they will begin to lose respect for you. You will be seen as a fake! As a leader or supervisor there is nothing worse than someone that they can’t trust.

Finally, when conducting an employee performance review schedule enough time to spend with each one of your employees and not just the ones you like. Yes I said it. As leaders we have our favorites don’t we. Remember as leaders we must be honest, fair, and consistent unless you like the inside of a courtroom.

Thank you and may God bless you!

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