As most business owners know, giving performance reviews aren’t fun, in fact they’re a bit of a drag for both the boss and staff member. But why do nearly all performance reviews cause such aggravation? Here are the top seven things you can avoid to ensure your performance reviews are a complete success:

  1. Being too vague and rushed

There isn’t a review that is worse than a last minute spur of the moment: “Hey Jane, could you quickly stop in my office for a sec?” and end up being so brief, giving no specific feedback on the work they’ve done. How can staff take that as something to improve on their job performance in the future? Be specific about exactly what you have liked and haven’t liked in their performance.

  1. Everything’s perfect… Until it’s not and you’re fired

It is common for many laid off employees who never see it coming and then become bitter when they’re suddenly tossed aside. What drives people up the wall is when the boss hasn’t been happy with their performance, but has never bothered to mention it to them until the time of their firing. If you’re in this situation, be honest and give them a little head’s up.

  1. Not looking back very far

Performance reviews are generally taken once a year, yet it can be so common for bosses to just focus the meeting on recent events due to what they can remember, rather than the performance of the whole year.

  1. No preparation

Some bosses do these meetings “on the fly”. The worst part of this approach is that it usually means the boss hasn’t really given any thought into the staff member and how they have done in the past year. It just makes staff feel undervalued. Bosses should take the time throughout the year to monitor their employees and when the review is arising, have everything they want to discuss prepared.

  1. No pats on the back

It may seem simple, but many bosses just don’t give recognition to their staff when they do a good job. These days, we’re all really busy with most people being over-worked and under-appreciated. But it amazes me how much just a small amount of appreciation from bosses can mean to so many people. Say thanks to your people when they do well at something; it’s the cheapest bonus you’ll ever pay!

  1. Not being truthful with staff about their performance

There are lots of “Mr. Nice Guy” bosses, who struggle to give their staff negative feedback. We also know some who never say anything good – Steve Jobs at Apple was famous for ripping into his people. In our experience, most people can handle the truth, just not inaccurate perceptions. If it’s truthful, most people can take negative feedback. But if the boss is way off-base in their perceptions of a staff member’s work performance, it can be really frustrating for the employee.

  1. No discussion around the staff’s career ambitions

Whether they’re a boss or staff member, most people don’t often think about their career path. Yet, people should be asked “where do you want to go?” or “what do you want to do?” during every performance review. This enables the employee to look at themselves in the mirror – some disgruntled employees may realise they’re not in the right spot in their current job. Others may use the discussion to soak up some tips from their boss and result in being more engaged and motivated in their jobs.

Performance reviews may not be fun, but they can be really powerful and effective in creating more loyalty and productivity among the team when they’re done right.

If you’d like more advice on creating an effective team in your workplace, you need to contact me now!