Owning the Performance Review

No one really likes performance reviews. They can make you and the person who’s being reviewed feel like you’re heading to your own execution if approached the wrong way. But, you can change that vibe of traditional performance reviews by focusing on the positives, and integrating areas the employee can grow at the same time.

Try the following the next time your up for conducting a performance review:

  • Extend the invite: You want to make the initial invitation to the annual performance review… well… inviting! Don’t make it scary—it will only stress the employee. Instead, disarm them, and focus on the fact that you want to go over what that employee has accomplished during the past year and how you both can develop his or her future performance in the year to come. Make it conversational.
  • Let the employee talk: Go ahead and let them get it off their chest. Ask them an introductory question and let them talk without interruption on your end. No judgment—just let them talk.
  • Lay it out: Introduce how you’re going to conduct the review and what points you’ll be covering. Don’t get too specific here—just let them know how the conversation is going to flow. If you have a form, now’s the time to give it to them so they can follow along as you go through it. It’s a guideline—don’t read it!
  • Give examples: Speak to specific examples of your points conversationally, and rely on your notes so you can expand on those examples. These should discuss what the employee is doing well, as well as what you’d like to see more of in certain areas.

 

Wrap it up, and don’t go on too long. Give the employee your overall rating, whatever reward is associated with that (assuming it’s a good rating!) and thank them for their hard work and time. Remember, be conversational and make the review worth both of your time! Going about it in the way can truly capitalize on the performance review.