Performance reviews – not only a “once a year thing”

mark-804935_1280For many people, a face-to-face performance review is the most stressful work conversation they’ll have all year. For managers, the discussion can be just as tense.

What a performance appraisal requires is for one person to stand in judgment of another. Deep down, it’s uncomfortable. It’s important though to minimize the stigma of a single once-a-year review.

First of all, a performance review isn’t a once a year meeting. It’s a series of short meeting throughout the year. Meet regularly – and of course individually – with your employees to discuss how their performance is helping them achieve their goals. Establish a regular meeting with each one of your team members to review their performance.

When you are having your meetings with your team members, always align performance with mission, vision, values and your expectations. Ensure that your employees know how their everyday tasks fit into the bigger picture. Ask employees how some of their tasks help accomplish the organization’s mission. If they don’t know, share your input. Remember it’s not a test for your employees – communicate with them, don’t interrogate.

Set long-term goals. A performance review is an opportunity to set goals for the entire year. This allows you both to make course corrections throughout the year. Prior to your performance review, ask each employee to submit goals they would like to work on this year. Review and adapt the goals so they help achieve the organization’s mission, vision, values and your expectations.

“Coach your employees constructively”

For your employees to know exactly what it is that that you want from them you need to be able to coach them constructively. Tell your team members what actions they need to stop, start and continue in order to be the most effective in their team. Some questions to ask yourself are: What is your employee doing now that is not working and should stop immediately? What actions should he adopt and start? What is he doing that is highly effective and should continue?

Also, when giving feedback, be specific and focus on the behavior, not the person. State what was observed, what is expected, confirm their understanding and get their commitment to improve going forward.

“Set your team members up for success – it’s your mission as their leader.”

Your team members wants to know how to become even better at what they do and to be the best or their team and the organization. They want you, as their leader, to be pleased with their performance. Make sure that you are giving them the tools to succeed!

Do you want to know more about how to improve your leadership and at the same time learn to better communicate with you team? If so, get in touch with us for a free assessment and dialogue on how we can help you. Contact us at


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