Practices to Write Employee Performance Reviews That Deliver Results

Helpful tips on how to perform an employee review

Employee performance reviews that give results? That’s probably an interesting phrase you don’t hear too often. Usually, an employee evaluation is used to check out where an employee is and what they’re up to, maybe setting some goals for the future to see how they can get better at what they do.

This is precisely what I mean by results. There’s no point in conducting performance reviews if they don’t lead to anything. To get these results, today we are going to focus on the best ways to do the writing part.

Things to Include in an Employee Performance Review

No matter what workplace you are in, there are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to and ensure you include in your performance reviews. This list includes:

  • How well employees communicate
  • Their problem-solving abilities
  • Punctuality, track attendance, and how reliable they are
  • How well they can meet goals and deadlines
  • How well they work individually and within a team
  • The quality of their work

Of course, on top of these basics, you will want to make sure you’re adding in anything specific to your employee’s roles, as well as the kinds of accomplishments they can achieve and what they contribute to your organisation. All this combined should give you a clear idea of how your employees are performing.

Defining Your Evaluation Metrics

How you evaluate your employees needs to be made clear from day one. What metrics are you going to be used to say whether an employee is doing a good job or not? Hand-in-hand with the considerations above, look at what matters within your business, and how you can define whether the threshold is being met.

Highlight the Positive Goals

First things first. When you get into the grit of your employee performance reviews, you always start with the positives, which means celebrating everything your employees have done well and the goals they have met.

“Don’t try and cram in every little thing they’ve done, however. Instead, try to focus on the biggest accomplishments that have had the biggest impact on the business overall, or their individual department. For example, if they really pulled their weight and excelled during the busy seasonal period, this would be the time to highlight that,” explains Tina Waters, a leadership writer at Draft Beyond and Last Minute Writing.

Highlight the Goals Not Met

Whereas you will want to focus on what goals were met, it’s important you obviously cover the goals that were not met. This is the area where you talk about what your employees can improve on, and what they should be focusing on in the future.

A goal could be something like turning up to work on time or making sure a certain amount of work is completed. Don’t be nit-picky, but instead be as concise and precise as possible. It’s all about choosing areas where your employee can actively improve and grow over time, not just berating them at what they have not been doing right.

Always End Positively

When it comes to the end of the performance review, you should always end on a positive note. This is because performance reviews are not designed to bring people down or make them feel bad about the work they’re doing, but instead to mark where they are right now, wherever it is they are and then detailing how they can improve.

With 96% of employees believing that showing empathy is an important way to keep employees on, by ending on a positive note, you are ensuring this process heads in a positive direction, and it will, therefore, be positive for everyone involved.

Engage in Conversation

A performance review isn’t just you talking about everything the employee has done wrong or right; it’s a conversation that takes place between the both of you. For example, when setting goals, it can be a good idea to ask what the employee thinks they should be working on. After all, did you know that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability? And, when employees feel that their voice is heard, they are 4.6 times more likely to feel like they can perform their best work.

“The point of these conversations is for you to work together to bring out the best in the employee with what they are capable of doing; not setting unrealistic expectations that you demand them to fulfil. This will just lead to a ton of employee dissatisfaction with your business, and nobody will want to work for you since they’re constantly feeling as though they’re failing,” explains Sarah Taylor, an HR expert at Writinity.

Evaluate as You Go

While annual official performance reviews are essential, it does not mean you shouldn’t be evaluating your employees throughout the year. 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. Whether you’re doing this in your head and just making mental notes of the kind of things you want to bring up, or you are actively engaging with your employees on the fly, this is an important step in the process.

This is a great approach to have since you help stop negative occurrences happening as they arise, which may even mean you don’t need to bring it up as a point to improve on in the performance review, but rather an accomplishment of something they did to get better.

About the Author:

Ashley Halsey is a business consultant and writer at Glasgow Assignment Writing Service and Gum Essays who has been involved in helping businesses manage their workforce in the most productive ways. Mother of two children, she enjoys travelling, reading, and mindfulness meditation.    

Ashley Halsey

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