Do Employee Performance Reviews Matter?

Employee reviews seem to be dreaded by most industries and some companies avoid them completely. This doesn’t have to be the case! Reviews can create a valuable channel of communication between managers and employees. If you can work a creative review process into your company culture, then the people who work for you are more likely to engage and could give you priceless insight into your business. 

Reviews are a useful tool to motivate staff and offer everyone the opportunity to be heard and involved in business development. Little problems can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Help and advice can be given too, so everyone stays happy and focused.

There are several ways to look at this process and depending on which one you’re looking at there will be several things you can take away from it.

From a manager’s point of view reviews, although time consuming, can help you keep track of your staff’s progress, individual projects and contribution to company goals. Staying in touch with where your people are and how they are feeling can give you a relevant appreciation of what is happening day to day.

Most people recommend a review once a year but this can turn the whole process into a mammoth task and often leaves the door open for problems to be sizeable before you have a chance to deal with them. If you have small reviews each quarter you will be able to track progress easily whilst building a culture based on communication and collaboration.

Be open-minded and remember to sandwich constructive criticism with praise. Otherwise known as a ‘praise burger’ (praise, criticism, praise), being able to discuss where there is room for improvement this way should help your staff walk away from a review excited and ready to make improvements. If they have ideas you can discuss these and hopefully bring about changes to benefit the business. Being clued up about your business and the people in it can make your planning and decision-making process easier too.

If you’re looking for ways to make this exercise less painful, try letting employees know a review is on the way and ask them to come to the meeting having considered these questions: 

1) What have you achieved?

2) What would you like to improve on?

3) How can you achieve these improvements and build on your successes? 

Most employees will love the chance to get involved and it can help the process feel less forced or awkward.

If you’re the employee this is an ideal chance to take your ideas to your boss. If there’s something you think could be done better, then don’t be afraid to talk to them about it. Before you go, think about how you feel you’ve done since your last review. What have you achieved? What do you think you could have done better? If you think you’d like extra training or you need a little support, then make sure you talk about it.

If your manager isn’t very understanding or approachable then try thinking before hand about how you can approach difficult subjects and what you’re answers will be to expected questions. This should help you feel prepared and a bit more confident.

Everyone wants to celebrate successes, but what happens if it hasn’t all been awesome? Being able to admit you made a mistake, offering ways you learnt from the experience and talking about the things you have done to rectify that mistake, will come across both professional and intelligent. 

Just be honest. This exercise is a great way to get into the habit of evaluating your own performance. If you can see where you could do better and appreciate their feedback then you will be making their job easier and contributing to the company’s performance and growth.

From a company aspect this is a great way to touch base and have your finger on the pulse. If several employees are saying the same thing then maybe it’s time to look at what you could do to improve company culture and help your staff out. If you are getting great feedback about a new initiative or system then you know you are on the right track and that the new approach works.

Finding room to improve, implementing solutions and measuring their effectiveness should be high on a company’s to-do list as it facilitates growth and efficiency, effectively saving time and money. Plus it can keep people happy and productive, what’s not to love about that?

Do you have company reviews and what are your review dos and don’ts?  

Posted by: Sarah Price, on April 21, 2014
Categories: Articles