How to Conduct Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are an effective tool for improving workplace operations. When implemented properly, these assessments help employers identify an employee’s key contributions and achievements as well as areas where they can further develop their skills. To make the most of performance evaluations, it’s critical you administer them strategically.

By providing regular feedback and developing specific action plans to help employees excel and optimize their performance, you can improve employee engagement. Additionally, effective performance evaluations can help your organization save resources by helping your workforce become more efficient and productive.

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What are performance reviews?

Also called performance evaluations or performance appraisals, performance reviews are formal assessments conducted by managers to evaluate an employee’s strengths, weaknesses and overall work performance.

Effective performance reviews benefit the employee as well as the employer. When a manager meets with an employee for a performance evaluation, they have an opportunity to convey structured feedback, provide constructive criticism and discuss opportunities for better aligning employee goals with company objectives. This feedback helps employees identify where they need to focus their energy and specific skills they need to improve. When employers provide organized feedback and clear goals, employees are more likely to meet expectations.

Benefits of administering performance reviews

Providing structured performance evaluations for the first time can be challenging for managers as well as their team members. Often, employees associate reviews with reprimands or assume their manager will only schedule an evaluation if they’ve done something wrong. However, by making performance reviews a regular part of your employee communication and career development process, you can change this perception and help employees become more engaged and effective.

Here are two advantages of implementing performance evaluations within your organization:

    • Increase employee effectiveness
      Highlighting areas where an employee may need to improve helps them determine where to focus their energy and skill-building efforts. When you provide clear instructions and an actionable plan for improvement, employees are more likely to address their shortcomings and meet the company’s needs.


  • Boost employee morale
    Performance reviews offer an excellent opportunity for managers to recognize how an employee is excelling in their role. During a performance review, a manager can emphasize how the employee has played a pivotal role in the organization and also has a significant part in its future.


Tips for implementing effective performance reviews

While the frequency and execution of your performance reviews depends on your organization, there are a few things you can do to ensure your evaluations are effective.

Collaborate with employees

The review process should be a collaboration between team members and their leaders. Discuss employees’ long-term goals and career aspirations and determine how they align with your organization’s needs.

Additionally, discussing an employee’s personal objectives, any obstacles they’re facing and offering guidance will help establish trust and open communication.

Share both opportunities for improvement and positive feedback

It’s helpful to share feedback that includes both areas for employee improvement and feedback on what they’re doing well. Taking time to balance negative feedback with praise can help prevent employees from feeling over-criticized and can keep them motivated to improve. Highlight specific achievements and share how these contributions help meet company objectives.
It’s also useful to include specific metrics and results so employees can identify exactly how their efforts impact the organization. By providing well-rounded feedback, your employees will feel recognized and better prepared to improve on areas of opportunity.

Create an action plan

At the end of their review, employees should have a clear strategy for moving forward, including well-defined goals and an understanding of how the organization will measure and assess their performance. The best way to achieve this is by making a plan together.

Managers should take time to discuss specific long-term goals, ask employees what tools or support they need to be successful and offer guidance for meeting performance expectations. Having a clear plan and defining metrics for measuring performance will help your organization and your workforce align on important objectives.

Performance reviews can be mutually beneficial to both employee and employer, and can make a significant and lasting impact on your organization’s success. Investing time in employee development can help you boost employee engagement and ensure you’re able to meet organizational goals.

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