Top Tips for a Successful Employee Review

This blog is run as part of Pandle’s ‘women in business’ series, celebrating women who are freelancers, directors and entrepreneurs by offering helpful advice.

Monitoring employee performance can all seem very 1984. You don’t want them to think you’re hounding them or micromanaging them in order to seek unattainable results.

However, employee reviews don’t have to be quite so scrutinising. This is simply an opportunity for you to check in with your employees and make sure they’re happy with their workload.

If you’re not yet implementing employee reviews, here are our top tips to help you get started on giving reviews that promise success.

Set goals

The first step you should take when looking to hold an employee review process is understanding why they’re important.

Having clear aims of what is to come out of this meeting is will make it the most beneficial meeting it can be, and will help both you and your employee determine the best way to grow the company together.

If there’s one thing you do in the review meeting, make it to set a number of goals (either just for the employee or for you both if they have their own suggestions for the company).

Don’t wait for the review to point out issues

If there are problems you can see arising, don’t wait for the employee review before you decide to do something about it.

No one should hear something negative for the first time in the review, this should always be brought up prior to this. This isn’t a time to berate employees, it’s a time to help them feel inspired and help your company grow.

Once you’re in the review there’s no point going over what’s already said unless you’re adding to it with new insight that could be useful to them in the future.

Map out your evaluation process

There’s little point hosting an employee performance review if you’re not going to monitor performance in between them.

After setting goals for your employee, you also need to work out a clear strategy on how you’ll evaluate progress, when the next performance strategy will be and how they feel about their own potential to meet it.

Ask about their expectations

While you want to set goals for employees, you also need to make sure they’re manageable for each individual, otherwise any future performance review will be void.

Speak to employees about their own expectations of themselves and what, ideally, they would like to achieve or where they may see themselves ending up.

They’ll then have more incentive to work towards this if you’re behind them as well.

They may even admit that they only see your company as a stop gap for them, but you shouldn’t throw them out on their ear as soon as you hear this.

It’s unlikely that every employee envisages their whole future with your company, so for those who are just using it as a stepping stone in their career, help them get everything they can from the position they’re in.

You may not be able to spoon feed them success, but if they have dreams beyond the 9-5 encourage them to explore it (as long as it doesn’t interfere with the everyday) and work on their own passion.

Prepare beforehand

Going into a performance review as an employer with no plan and just hoping to ‘wing it’ will mean it won’t be successful for either of you. Instead you should prepare thoroughly.

Get your questions, ideas and of course, feedback, in order before you head into the meeting. This way you have a chance to organise your thoughts and map out just what you want to say.

Keep conversation flowing

Make sure your intention remains genuine and you don’t simply end up lecturing your employees.

Doing so will dramatically decrease the effectiveness of the review and instead feel like you’re there to point out all their flaws without allowing them the opportunity to respond or give their opinion on how the company could better itself.

Do you offer your employees the chance for a regular review at your company? Do you find this is a helpful exercise in the grand scheme of things? If you don’t, why not? Leave your comments in the section below or get in touch with us over on Twitter and Facebook.

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