Performance Review can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the work year. This is not only true for employees but managers as well. Performance reviews are a formal assessment of an employee, where his or her job performance is evaluated and documented. These reviews take into consideration an employee’s impact, performance, development, and growth. It is not only useful for employees to gauge their success and career development, but also for management to keep the business running its best.

In the past, performance reviews have been conducted yearly. Recently, however, many managers execute performance reviews quarterly. More frequent performance reviews are valuable to both parties to actively improve. For this to be true though, employers must make sure performance reviews are conducted effectively so employees take something away from it.

Make the Evaluation Clear

The first step in conducting an effective performance review is to be sure that the employee knows exactly what criteria this performance review is based on. This means describing exactly what is being looked at and on what scale it will be evaluated.

A good way to reiterate this information is to implement self-performance reviews. This will give the employee a chance to evaluate themselves and recognize areas they succeed in and areas they need improvement in.

Document Performance Throughout the Year

Avoid saving all conversation for the performance review. Even if it happens quarterly, it is hard to keep track of everything that occurs in between. Keeping tabs on employee achievements or errors such as a missed deadline will ensure that everything is covered, not just the 2 weeks before the performance review that is easy to remember.

Asking the employee to do the same thing will create even more room for conversation when it comes time for the performance review. This is also helpful in the instance that there is a disagreement or maybe accomplishment management missed.

Solicit Feedback

Feedback from all employees can be super useful in conducting performance reviews. Informal discussions or brief surveys can be good ideas to gather information from certain employees’ colleagues, assistants, or supervisor. Having a broadened range of input will make the performance review even more accurate and effective because there will be feedback from areas other than just management.

Ask Questions-Be Open!

To get the most out of performance reviews, employees need to feel motivated and excited about their ability to progress, grow and contribute. Performance reviews are not just a meeting for the employer to criticize the employee. As a matter of fact, the employee should be doing at least half of the talking.

Ask them what was most challenging and why, ask them what support they need to reach their goals, Ask how management can improve. Anything that will get useful feedback from the employee is a valid question. The whole goal of a performance review is to improve and grow, so make sure you touch on what the employer needs to improve!

While performance reviews can be a drag and most people don’t look forward to them, they are imperative for both company and employee success. Following these tips will ensure that performance reviews are effective and result in development, not just a waste of time.