Performance Reviews: Tips for Supervisors

By Morag Barrett on November 26, 2013

Posted by Morag Barrett | November 26, 2013Performance Reviews: Tips for SupervisorsPerformance review time can result in frustration for line managers who are suddenly faced with finding time to review their teams. But hang on there, it shouldn’t be a surprise, you know what the review cycle is for your company. If you have left it to the last minute then shame on you. Effective performance reviews and performance management starts with you, the boss (who is also, no doubt, an employee having to submit your own self-assessment to your boss).Holding a successful performance appraisal discussion is not simply a year end event.  The final review should simply be the culmination of a year long process, of conversations held throughout the year.  Here are three tips to help you prepare for and have effective performance review conversations with your team.Prepare by looking back:Review the goals set at the start, and through out the year for each employee.Review notes of previous conversations, strengths and development gaps.Review the results achieved, completed projects and accomplishments.Feedback from customers, internal stakeholders and colleagues.Read the employee’s self-assessment.Write The Review:In many organizations you will write your review and evaluation of the employee, before you have an opportunity to discuss it with them.  Make sure you are familiar with the individual process and documentation that your company uses.  Ensure you are considering the whole reporting period, not just the last few months.  This could unbalance the feedback and assessment based on a stellar last few months, or a poor quarter, without regard for the remainder of the year. Include examples ofGoals and objectives that were missed, met or exceeded.Areas of improvement that were observed during the period.Strengths to be leveraged going forward.Development needs including skills and competencies that would help support the employee’s performance in the future.When writing your feedback and appraisal be specific and avoid vague comments, for example “Good communicator” becomes “Good communicator using a wide variety of communication methods, for example, is especially effective in translating technical concepts into every day language, resulting in a 10% improvement in customer satisfaction scores.”The key to effective feedback is “for example” and “which resulted in”  using these phrases usually ensures that a vague statement is followed up with a specific behavioral example AND the impact/result that followed.Include suggestions for improving skills and competencies, internal workshops, online resources, conferences or on-the-job training. Ask your employee for their ideas and suggestions.Have the performance review conversation:Schedule a time that is convenient for you and the employee, make sure you have sufficient time for the conversation, this is not something to be rushed.  Where possible your employee should have the opportunity to review your comments BEFORE the meeting so that they can be prepared to discuss this with you.  This should be a two-way conversation, not a one-way monologue.  Ask questions, and LISTEN to what is being shared.  If you have had ongoing conversations throughout the year then there should be no surprises, for you or your team member when it comes to the final review meeting.Ask what your employee needs from you to be successful.  What is one thing you could have done differently. Then consider how you can adapt your style to meet this request in the future.Prepare by looking forward:One last tip… before you sign off for the year.  Book time NOW for the review conversations next year.  It sends a clear message to your team members that this is important AND means you won’t be scrabbling around to fit everything in when that email arrives from HR…What advice do you have for ensuring a successful performance review? Related ArticlesTags »FeedbackHow to complete a Performance Reviewperformance managementPerformance review phrases Share1
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