In the modern workplace, performance reviews are critical. These reviews are key to the personal and professional development of your employees. They also help you gauge how well you’re managing your employees.
Failure to conduct performance reviews, could lead to staff feeling underappreciated and potentially looking for other employment.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what a performance review is, common review questions, and how to give constructive feedback during a review.
What is a Performance Review?
An annual performance review (also known as a performance appraisal) is used to discuss progress made in a role by an employee. These meetings are also used to discuss where an employee needs to improve and if further support is needed.
Performance reviews can occur monthly or quarterly, if required, to discuss ongoing targets or goals. They also help to create a successful working relationship between the employee and employer, while helping both find ways to improve.
Different Types of Performance Appraisals
There are different types of performance appraisals that you can choose from. Make sure you select the correct one to suit each individual employee.
- 360-degree appraisal: This is a questionnaire given to other colleagues who regularly work with an employee to see how they’re performing.
- General performance appraisal: This is the most common form of appraisal used. This could involve the setting of targets and goals reviewed on a monthly, bi-monthly or annual basis.
- Employee self-assessment: A questionnaire or form given to an employee prior to the appraisal. This helps to give the meeting more flow and direction.
Are performance reviews necessary?
Performance reviews aren’t mandatory. They remain a personal choice for an employer if they decide to undertake them.
Reviews are a good way to encourage development. But they are also a good way to open dialogue with an employee who doesn’t have a big office presence.
Performance reviews are key in supporting employee retention, as a successful review meeting can increase an employee’s motivation and morale.
How an Employee Performance Review Works
Typically, performance reviews are one-to-one meetings held in a private room. An open forum between employer and employee is used to discuss progress or any issues they both have.
Both employer and employee can ask questions regarding performance and employee development.
Performance Review Questions
Ensure you have pre-planned questions to ask, which are tailored to each employee.
Make sure they’re open-ended questions, putting the emphasis on the employee and avoiding one-word answers.
The following are typical performance review questions you can ask:
- How do you feel your performance has been?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Have you struggled with any aspects of the role?
- Have you achieved your pre-set goals or targets?
- Do you feel any help or training is needed in the role?
- How is your working relationship with your colleagues?
- Do you enjoy your role?
- Do you know what is expected from you?
Make sure you don’t get frustrated at their answers or lack of an answer. These reviews are all about dialogue and development, you won’t always get the response you expect to hear.
Examples of Performance Reviews
Below are examples of some common performance areas that you could comment on during a performance review:
- Time management.
A performance review gives you the chance to discuss these issues and set out a plan moving forward to solve them.
You need to ensure the discussion doesn’t end in a conflict with an employee. This will have a negative effect on productivity and morale going forward.
For example, if you have an employee who has been taking longer breaks, explain the break policy to remind them of their break entitlements. If they continue to take longer breaks, then give them an official warning.
Taking this route will help improve the relationship between you and your employees.
It also shows that you are being fair, proactive, and giving them a chance to improve.
How to Give Constructive Feedback in a Performance Review
No one likes to receive criticism at work. The last thing you want is your employee to feel like they’re receiving constant criticism during their review. Make sure you do the following when giving constructive feedback:
- Use a positive tone.
- Be clear and specific with the areas in which you want them to improve.
- Don’t overdo it, you don’t want to come across condescending.
- Find a solution together for the issue you are discussing.
- End the constructive feedback discussion by recognizing their achievements and being positive.
You should finish a performance review by clearly setting out the next steps.
Ask your employee for their comments on the performance review. Encourage them to be as honest as possible and how they feel the meeting went. Don’t end things on a sour note.
Employees need to leave the meeting feeling appreciated, motivated, and believing they can be successful in the role.
How to write up a performance review
Take the following steps when writing up a performance review. Make sure you include everything covered:
- Document everything said in the meeting.
- Be transparent.
- Set out a clear plan for any improvements needed.
- Ensure you end the meeting on a positive note.
- Make sure both parties sign the document. This will stop any future conflict surrounding the outcome of the review.
Get help with your employee performance reviews today with BrightHR
Employee performance reviews are key to employee morale and development. They are also important for you to improve as an employer.
If you need assistance with employee appraisals, BrightHR has several tools which will make the whole process easier for you.