Making the performance review relevant to employees

Performance reviews are typically a source of dread and stress for employees. They tend to be very critical, one sided and vague, leaving very little of value for employees to take away from the evaluation. However, they are a necessary part of growth and development, both for your company and the employee as an individual. Performance reviews establish expectations, review job performance and provide direction, all of which contribute to the success of your company. However, there is another side to performance reviews that often gets overlooked: what the performance review does for the employee.

As an employer, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and only think of how something benefits the company. We tend to focus on what will make our employees more productive and our business more successful, but what we sometimes miss is that employees are better at their jobs when they feel fulfilled and as if they’re working with purpose. This is where performance reviews can make a splash. By making them more relevant to employees, the ripple effect will ultimately be more productive employees who make our companies more successful.

Step out of the tunnel

It’ll likely take a conscious effort to put a stop to the tunnel vision that only allows you to see sales figures or quotas. It will have to be a decision you and your organization make to see the success of an employee as a success for your organization and to focus on that individual success first. It doesn’t mean that quotas and benchmarks aren’t important but it does mean that the entire focus of your evaluation isn’t number driven.

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Be purposeful

Some of the major complaints of performance reviews employees have are that they are vague and full of rambling. This could be because supervisors simply didn’t prepare, are unsure of even what their own expectation are or just need to work on their delivery. Whatever the reason, it’s important to hone in on what you want the employee to take away from the performance review, because often what they’re taking away is confusion. Without purpose, even the best intentions are lost.

Help employees improve

In addition to being purposeful in your delivery, be specific about your expectations for employees. Believe it or not, most employees actually want to improve, but many find performance reviews to be little help in sharpening their skills. Ask specific questions about where they feel they could improve and provide honest feedback about areas of weakness. After all, a performance review serves no purpose if all it does is literally review. Think about where you want the employee to be in six months or a year, evaluate what steps they would need to take to get there and share with what you find.

What tips can you share for making performance reviews more relevant to employees? Let us know in the comments section below.

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