It’s true; no one likes performance reviews. You don’t want to give them, and you know your employees hate them. But they are an essential part of the process for improvement and productivity. So how can you improve your performance review delivery so you can help your team learn and grow? Here are some better performance review conversations to have with your employees.
Be a Coach
Performance reviews shouldn’t be about just pointing out errors and mistakes. You need to assume the role of a coach. Be constructive in your criticism and positive in your encouragement. Cheer them on to do their best work rather than making them feel frustrated and attacked. A good coach is inspiring and motivating, so take on those attributes during reviews.
Don’t Wait for the Review
Another pitfall many managers fall into is waiting until a review to provide any feedback at all. But sometimes, this is way too late for the employee to do anything about it. If you see an issue, address it right away. Remember to keep things positive and encourage them to improve rather than bullying or becoming angry. Use the review to go over the improvements and set new challenges.
You can use this time to listen to what your employee has to say, as well. They may not always feel like they have your undivided attention, so make sure that they do in this particular instance. When they talk to you about their goals, challenges, or concerns, listen carefully. Assure them that you’ve heard what they had to say, and make a plan to help with improvements.
Choose the Right Words
Everything you say in a review will have an impact, so choose your words carefully. Ask questions designed to make your employees think about their contribution. Like:
- What are you most proud of on the job?
- What are your goals?
- What obstacles are in your way?
- How can we improve as a team?
Focus on solving problems, stay positive, don’t be disrespectful or dismissive, and make sure you comment on the right things they’ve done as well.
It’s also essential that you’re able to provide context for the things you discuss. For example, if you tell someone their performance isn’t up to your standards, they’ll feel attacked and embarrassed. If you can share specific examples and constructive solutions, they’ll be more inclined to work with you to make improvements.
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