Make Employee Reviews More Frequent

Employee reviews – are they an annual affair in your organization? Is August the time for your company’s employee reviews? Maybe more frequent employee reviews would benefit your organization more than annual reviews. A recent article from author Elizabeth Sile suggests five tips to help you implement earlier and more often reviews.

For HR professionals, an old joke parallels annual reviews with fruitcakes –  – they come every year whether you want them or not. And that means holiday season, which also means there’s mounting stress involved in the situation. Instead of having a hectic season, why not review employees earlier and more often so that it isn’t such a daunting task? Perhaps a mid-year review supplemented by an end-of-year review would be a better way to alleviate some of the stress and an easier way to address bonuses.

Some even say that employee reviews should happen all year long, not just end-of year or mid-year reviews. Five tips for a successful review process that deliver results include:

1. Separate reviews for professional development from those for pay increases.

2. Be honest.

3. Put down the form.

4. Shift the review to the employee.

5. Come prepared.

A major reason mid-year reviews should be separated from end-of-year reviews is to provide a distance between reviews of performance and reviews regarding pay increases or bonuses. It’s not proactive to discuss an employee’s trials and triumphs when money hangs in the air, they simply won’t listen. Being honest about an employee’s performance is also much more important than avoiding confrontation. For an employee to grow and be successful within the organization, he or she must know how they are performing and whether or not they are meeting company standards. Use this time to be a positive influence in their work-life.

Another issue is running down a checklist during a review. Put that aside and focus on the individual employee. This is an opportunity to have an open discussion with your employee, to know how they feel, what they need and an opportunity for you to relay to them how they can improve and what they’ve done well for the organization. This is, in essence, a problem-solving conversation that needs to be two-sided.

Another tactic is to turn the tables and let the employee do the reviewing, let them ask they questions and thus review themselves. Suggest three questions to the employee, such as, “How have you done?”, “What can I do as your supervisor to build your skills?”, or “What will your goals be for the next year, and what are the measurable outcomes of these goals?”. From there, the employee can have an open conversation with you and review themselves.

To credibly review and employee, Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential Performance Review Handbook, says it is crucial to gather as many specific examples of good and bad behavior as possible and collect objective information on employee performance. This shouldn’t be done right before a performance appraisal meeting; rather, achievements and slip-ups must be tracked throughout the year.

Having specific examples of certain types of behavior can show the employee what they have done that is great for the organization and what they’ve done that can be improved upon. Reviews need to be an open exchange of information, not a one-sided check list of whether or not the employee is meeting standards. It’s also not just about whether or not there will be a raise or a bonus. Reviews can be utilized to increase employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction. To read the full article about how to efficiently utilize employee reviews, click here.

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