The answer to the question of how to conduct a performance review is much easier than you think!
However, before we go any further the most important part of any conversation you have with an employee as it relates to performance is to be honest. Do not over rate them in an effort to make them feel better or avoid confrontation. Remember that anything you commit to writing lives forever and ever and may come back to haunt you.
Why would I say this?
If a promotional opportunity becomes available in your organization and you select someone else for the position other than the individual you inflated a performance review on you have set yourself up for a possible law suit. Combine that with the possibility of a discrimination claim if they are in a protected class (race, religion, sex, age, etc.)
So bottom line is be fair, honest, and consistent! Don’t regret what you put into writing!
First step in how to conduct a performance review is establish common categories for all your employees. As an example; safety, dependability, initiative, productivity, adaptability, interpersonal skills, team work, communication skills, judgment, customer service, etc. These skills can be a part of almost any job skills; therefore, you are being consistent when you are rating all your employees.
Let’s break out dependability as an example. In order to be fair and consistent we must establish what exactly we mean by being dependable. Are we only talking about showing up for work or are we also including completing assigned tasks. We could also mean that they volunteer to work overtime or a holiday when needed. Once you establish this compare this employee to all your employees for that specific category. Be honest, fair, and consistent.
The hardest part of conducting a performance review is when you have an employee that performs exceptionally well but may not have a good attendance record (dependability). Remember to be fair and consistent or you may end up in court fighting a discrimination claim when you rated a less productive employee who has a great attendance record and they happen to be a female over forty (a protected class).
So, let’s get back to our original question of how to conduct a performance review.
Step one is make set aside enough time so that you are not rushing through the review. The employee will recognize this immediately if you schedule all employees a few minutes apart and run them through like cattle. This clearly shows that you are trying to get this off your plate and not that you are truly trying to give them feedback on how they are doing.
We all understand that we have many things to do, but this one thing is more important than you might think. The number one reason an employee stays at a job is not money. In fact money is several reasons below the number one reason. The number one reason is that an employee wants to feel appreciated.
Marriages fail for the same reason. People want to feel wanted. Giving time to anyone is the best way you can show that you truly care about them. Example! If you are speaking to someone about something very important to you and they are distracted by their cell phone how does that make you feel? Invest in your employees with time!
No matter what you have to present to the employee as it relates to their performance over the previous year try to make them feel important. Stand up and greet them when they come into your office. Offer them a cup of coffee or a soft drink if you have them available. Let them sit down before you do. Ask them how their day is going. If you know of something that is happening in their lives like a son or daughter in sports ask them about that. All of this should take place before diving into the actual performance review. Take your time. This is how to conduct a performance review!
A performance review should be an opportunity to teach and guide even the best of your employees. As you are going over their performance for last year talk about the challenges ahead for the new year also.
I find that most employees like to be challenged. You know who they are.
When you have an employee, who is not performing well I hope it does not come as a surprise to them.
Throughout the year I am hoping that you took the time to coach them and point out weaknesses and how to correct them along the way.
This is how to conduct a performance review! Invest the time and effort to do it right!
Thank you and may God bless you!