Performance reviews are a critical part of any business. They allow employers and management to address employee behavior and correct any mistakes. They also provide a boost for morale, as employees report higher engagement and job satisfaction when their work is subject to review.
However, the exact nature of conducting performance reviews is tricky. To clear things up, this article will dive into examples of performance reviews. This will help guide you through providing effective evaluation in the future.
What Is a Performance Review?
While it seems like there should be a straightforward format for performance reviews, the reality is that such a situation would be impossible. Performance reviews are anything done to review an employee’s performance. They should give the manager/employer and the employee direction going forward.
As such, they can be incredibly varied. A performance review can be a simple meeting to discuss an employee’s situation or an in-depth evaluation that includes measurable statistics. Nowadays, performance reviews can even be given over the cloud, opening up new avenues for review.
However, this variability is necessary because not every type of performance review works in every situation. Some will be best suited for certain jobs, while others will be best suited for others.
What Does an Effective Performance Review Include?
While there are many differences between performance reviews, there are also some similarities. Specifically, an effective performance review will include a few specific things. These are:
A measurement of how the employee performed since the last performance review or over another period
Steps for improvement or specific goals that will be used by the employee and the manager/employer going forward from the review
A documentation of what was discussed during the review
Performance Review Examples
There are many types of performance reviews out there. However, a few have proven popular and effective in many different settings.
These are informal and typically quick performance reviews. All that they really consist of is a brief discussion and some note-taking.
The person conducting the review should be prepared. They should have a list of check-in questions ready to go so that they can ask them. They should also be prepared for the meeting to last longer if the response to any questions leads to a more involved discussion.
Check-in questions can include:
How do you feel about the work you are doing?
Do you feel like you have enough time and resources to do what you need to do?
What, if anything, would you change about the way you are currently working?
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In some cases, it may be better to conduct a performance review of an employee’s work on a specific project rather than a specific time frame. This can be helpful because simply having a review every six months may mean reviewing an employee’s work on one successful and multiple failed projects, leading to a mixed review. Meanwhile, a project review will always focus on that specific project.
These reviews should focus on the employee’s connection to the success or failure of the project itself. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? How can they contribute better to the next project?
One measurable and effective way to conduct performance reviews is through a grading system. These can grade the employee on a scale (typically 1-5) in as many categories as necessary. These are great because they highlight specific areas for improvement while giving employees a framework to work toward.
For example, a sales company's grading-based performance review could include a list of questions where the response will fall into a value from 1 to 5. In this case, 1 indicates an extreme negative response, and 5 indicates an extreme positive response. This could lead to a review like this:
Does the employee reach their sales goals?
Does the employee make the number of calls that they should?
Is customer feedback for the employee positive?
Is the employee on time for work every day?
In jobs with measurable differences between employees' work output, employee rankings can be useful. This is when employees are ranked based on the work they are doing compared to each other. They are then put into a list with the best-performing employees at the top and the worst at the bottom.
These lists can then be utilized in different ways. They can be shared with employees individually to let them know how they are doing. They can also be shared publicly so that everyone can see who is performing well and who is not.
This type of performance review can be effective in highlighting the differences between employees, which can be a metric used to consider raises, promotions, bonuses, or even layoffs. It can also be a motivational tool, as rankings inevitably lead to competition, which has an impact on motivation.
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The basis for a review doesn’t always have to come from management. It can come from customers as well.
Many companies let customers review their experiences with employees. This gives an honest review of how people outside the company perceive these employees. This is effective in presenting an entirely new and important viewpoint while also minimizing bias from management.
External reviews can be conducted in a number of different ways:
Phone calls with customers can end by giving them the option to review the person they were just talking to. They can then enter responses to questions by selecting the option on their phone.
Response cards can be mailed to customers or given out at a store. These can then be filled out and returned.
A prompt can be set to appear after someone has an interaction with an employee online. They can then fill out the anonymous survey on their phone or computer.
Conducting Great Performance Reviews
Conducting great performance reviews doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to keep in mind the elements that make a performance review effective. Then, you can select an option that works best for your business and get started.