Ah, performance reviews. While they’re not always a favorite activity of employee nor employer, they are important. Performance reviews not only help employers assess the quality of work performance of their employees, they’re also beneficial in helping employees gauge their own progress with job goals and benchmarks. Furthermore, performance reviews can serve as a valuable tool for developing and refining a performance achievement plan, enabling both the employer and employee to determine the effectiveness of a position and whether it might need adjusting in various ways.

Beyond just being beneficial, it’s imperative that performance reviews be completed efficiently and professionally. So, for employers who want to avoid leaving an employee with mixed messages and instead offer a constructive and productive plan for growth, here are five ways to execute an effective performance review for all parties involved.

  1. Set the scene. Not only should employees be given the appropriate notice and adequate time to prepare for a performance review, it’s also essential to set the proper expectations for what will be discussed and how the review will flow. This can help employees to come prepared with any new goals, questions, or concerns they might have related to their current role. It can also help calm any nerves an employee might have about the potential topics of discussion.
  2. Perform a pre-appraisal. One simple and efficient way to lay the groundwork for a performance review is to ask employees to complete a pre-appraisal document that allows them to evaluate themselves. This can be a helpful guide for employers to use in the performance review to stay on track while also steering the tone and direction of the in-person review.
  3. Keep a formal setting. During the performance review, strive to maintain a formal setting. While the goal should be for the review to be comfortable and non-threatening to the employee, it’s also important to facilitate a professional setting that prevents the possibility of venturing off topic or going over the allotted meeting time.
  4. Address the job description. Oftentimes, job descriptions can go years without being properly adjusted or modified to fit the sometimes-changing demands of a position. Consider walking through the employee’s job description during the performance review to determine if it needs to be updated or tweaked. Using the job description as a guide can also help both employer and employee evaluate and measure performance progress.
  5. Establish next steps and follow up. Perhaps the most valuable part of the performance review is in establishing next steps for an employee and following up throughout the next year. Take the opportunity to offer any necessary honest and constructive feedback to the employee, and ask for constructive feedback in return. A helpful way to create next steps for an employee is to work together to create a list of goals that promote continued success and potential improvements for the employee to work toward during the next year ahead. To take it a step further, schedule a follow up with the employee once or twice throughout the year to maintain accountability and offer some motivation.

Are you in need of assistance in executing effective performance reviews or looking for tips to move your performance reviews beyond the average, mundane experience? Our HR managers and experts are ready to assist. Contact us today to learn more!

All content and services on this page are offered by LBMC Employment Partners, LLC. LBMC Employment Partners, LLC, is part of the LBMC Family of Companies and is an independent entity with services and products being provided exclusively by LBMC Employment Partners, LLC.

LBMC Employment Partners, LLC, a member of the LBMC Family of Companies, is a world-class professional services firm. LBMC Employment Partners provides a comprehensive suite of human resource-related services to businesses including Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services, HR Outsourcing (HRO), Payroll, Human Resource Consulting, Employee Benefits, and ACA Compliance Consulting. For more information visit www.lbmcep.com.