eGuide 11 of 12

Performance Reviews & Giving Feedback

Performance reviews are one of the most common parts of the modern day workplace. They are your chance to share your feelings with the employee, let them know their value to you, and decide on whether or not they’re going to move up in the company.

They’re also very messy.

One of the biggest problems with performance reviews is that they’re completely subjective. Rarely do companies use analytics to decide which employees are genuinely worthy of praise. Instead, most are completed by only one individual, and that individual’s personality affects the reviews in dozens of ways.

Problems with Performance Reviews

• Subjectivity – If the person giving the review does or doesn’t like the employee, it will affect the review.
• One Sided- Usually the person doing the review represents only a small part of the puzzle of what makes a great employee.
• Inexact – Some raters refuse to give perfect scores because “there is always room for improvement.” Others give perfect scores across the line unless given a reason not to.

All of these make the modern day performance review an ineffective way to evaluate an employee, and in some cases – especially for the employees that take pride in their work – they can actually hurt employee satisfaction and lead to more rapid turnover.

Tips to Improve Performance Reviews and Feedback
It is in the best interests of the company to provide accurate performance reviews and objective feedback when measuring employee value. It’s important for understanding your company, it’s important for morale, and it’s even important for evaluating your hiring process.

Because every company is different, how you evaluate and manage performance can be different as well. That’s why we recommend the following tips to improve the value of your performance reviews:

• Use Analytics – Try your best to use numbers to back up any claims. In some cases that may be difficult, but for some careers there are ample numbers that can be picked from and used to analyze performance. Cashiers and data entry workers can be measured on speed. Office workers can be measured on time. There are always numbers that can be used.

• Use Multiple Voices – While multiple voices doesn’t necessarily overcome issues with bias, it’s an important first step. Don’t have any single person create a performance review. Instead, consider some type of survey or analysis tool to get feedback from all angles of the employee’s performance. Try to include customers, coworkers, and anyone that may communicate with the employee.

• Compare/Contrast – Often performance reviews correspond with growth and raises, and so bias reporting can hold back outstanding workers and make it harder to identify who deserves more attention. But if you compare employees against each other, you’ll have a bit of an easier time seeing who really stands out.

• Create Goals, not Criticisms – When you’re coming up with your performance review, make sure you’re giving the employee goals to meet in order to reach their desired outcome, not simply telling them what they do wrong. Performance reviews can affect the satisfaction of the employee that is probably wondering how well they’re valued. If they do not qualify for a raise or promotion, let them know what measurable things they can do to receive one.

• Create Incentives – Performance reviews are very stressful times for employees, and while a performance review can be a necessary part of the workplace, it also needs to be something that doesn’t damage the employee’s confidence. So make sure they’re rewarded somehow – a small raise, a title change, a day off – something that lets them know that they are a valued part of your organization, no matter how the review went.
In total, there are two things that are very important to remember about performance reviews. The first is that as much as possible they need to be based on provable measurement, not subjective assessments, and when they are based on subjective assessments they need to get input from others to reduce individual biases. An “unfair” review (positive or negative) that’s written by only a single person based on what they’ve “seen” is a recipe for rewarding the wrong people and punishing the wrong people.

The second thing is the purpose of performance reviews is to improve performance, not hurt it, so make sure you’re giving your employee something that makes them feel valued. If the performance review hurts the employee in any way, chances are their production will drop and their likelihood of leaving will increase, and that will hurt your company far more than any review.

Performance reviews are also an outstanding time to review the employees you have on staff and see if there are any areas that could use another employee to help out with the work. At Recruit Shop, we provide affordable recruitment solutions that help companies just like you find employees that will excel within the company – employees that will max out their performance reviews.

Contact us today to learn more about these recruitment solutions or to get started with your recruitment needs.

Click to download the Recruitment eGuide PDF.