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Performance Review Tips

Aastha Dogra Oct 13, 2018
Performance reviews are very essential―both for the employee and the employer―as they can increase productivity and spell success for the organization. Here are some effective tips for employers as well as employees, with regards to performance reviews.
Annual performance reviews are very essential to run a business successfully.
There are four main stages of employee performance appraisals process:
  • Setting goals for the individuals, teams, and the whole organization.
  • Getting the work done.
  • Appraising how the work was done by comparing it with the set goals.
  • Setting new goals for everybody.
Performance reviews are not about finding faults with the employees. In fact, they are a means to give and receive feedback from them.

Tips for the Employer

Form Relationships

A performance appraisal is a good opportunity to forge strong relationships with your employees. It can only be successful if the relationship between the employer and the employee is good and there is mutual trust between them.
Even before the review try to know more about each and every employee in the organization. Tell the employees how they fit in to the organization's goals, and how they can further their career by being a part of your organization. Forming relationships with the employees leads to increased work productivity.

Do the Paperwork in the End

A performance review is not about filling up forms and documenting various things about the employee. Instead, it is an opportunity for you to focus on your employee. 
During an appraisal, understand the employee, his goals, his contributions to the company, and his weak areas, by being a good listener and paying full attention to him.
If he has any concerns about his work or the organization, discuss them in the review itself. Giving due consideration to the employee's concern will translate into job satisfaction. Thus, one of the most effective tips is not to write or fill forms till the end of the review, so that you can focus on the individual completely.

Give Consistent Feedback

There should be continuous flow of feedback from the employer to the employee throughout the year. If an employee is not performing well in certain areas, he should be made aware of it before the performance review. An employee should not be given negative feedback for the first time during the review.

Clarity on Performance Review Process

The process followed by your organization should be well understood by the employee beforehand. This will help in a more adept review, as the employee will not feel stressed, and will be able to participate and perform in the review to the best of his ability, adding to a healthy organizational culture.

Communicate Effectively

For communicating in an effective manner, preparation is the key. Decide before the review itself what you are going to say to an employee. Be honest and sincere in giving feedback―whether it is negative or positive. 
Always start with the positives first and then move onto the negatives. Remember to keep the feedback professional and refrain from criticizing the employee personally. Effective communication techniques can turn a performance review into a fruitful exercise for the participants.

Take Feedback

A performance review is a good place to find out your employee's ideas and feelings about the organization, about other employees, and about you. By listening to their input attentively, you give the impression that you value their opinions and they are an important part of your organization.
So, take feedback at the end of the appraisal. Being a good listener is one of the most effective leadership traits.

Tips for Employees

Market Yourself Well

This is an important chance for you to market yourself. Tell your manager how important you are for the success of your team. List out all your accomplishments in the past one year, both as an individual and as a team player.

Communicate Effectively

Communicate in a mature and professional manner. If you have a tendency to forget things, make a written list of all that you want to say and rehearse it beforehand. Communicate to the employer your goals for the next one year as well as your long-term career goals. Tell him about your career development needs. Be polite and assertive at the same time.

Refresh Your Knowledge

A performance appraisal is not just about getting a pay hike. Use it as an opportunity to know about the employer, the organization, team goals and added requirements of your job description. Your knowledge should be updated after the review.

Evaluate Yourself Honestly

In the performance review, talk about your strengths and weaknesses. List out the areas in which you have performed well but at the same time don't forget to mention the areas where you need improvement and employee training. Giving a well-balanced review about your performance shows that you are mature and flexible enough to take help from others.

Be Open-minded

If the employer has some negative things to say about your work, just listen attentively and receive the feedback with an open mind. Don't start arguing with the manager. Instead, make a note of all the things, that according to your employer, were lacking in your performance, and try to work on them after the appraisal.
Also, don't give any excuses for your non-performance. Blaming a person or a situation for your lack of performance will be considered as unprofessional behavior by your employer.
Performance reviews give an opportunity to the employee to reflect on his past performance and celebrate his accomplishments. They serve as a great motivation tool. Periodic reviews help in reducing job stress as well.
The employer too learns a great deal about his employees and their work through these reviews. Using this feedback, the employer can devise means to improve employees' performance, and thus, in the process, improves the organization's performance as a whole.