Many business leaders fail to appreciate how much employees want to receive feedback from them. In fact, about 90% of employees say that they would like to receive feedback regularly. Annual performance reviews are just one of the most important ways that you can provide general feedback for an employee’s overall performance.
At the same time, annual performance reviews can be difficult to handle. Every employee is different and will want different things during their review. Handling that diversity of desires can make reviews extremely difficult for managers and business leaders.
Fortunately, there are some principles you can apply to handle annual performance reviews more effectively. Read on to learn all about the most important techniques that will help your performance reviews go as smoothly as possible!
In this article
Focus on Mutual Understanding
Performance reviews can be difficult for employees. They often receive criticism. On top of that, they do not know exactly what to expect coming in.
One of the most important things to do in a performance review is to promote understanding. You want to understand each employee better. You also want them to be able to tell that you are learning about them and listening.
On top of that, you want to make sure that they understand what is going on as clearly as possible.
Almost every performance review will include a fair amount of criticism. The whole point of a performance review is to help people perform better than they have in the past. The natural stress that comes with criticism can be partially ameliorated if you listen carefully.
Take Time to Understand Employees
People often feel that those who criticize them do not understand them. Since they do not understand them, how can they give proper criticism? Maybe they would get very different criticism if they understood more about the situation.
These thoughts and feelings can keep criticism from having its desired effect. To counter this, you need to show people that you do understand their situation
To do this, ask them about their performance. Ask why they have struggled to achieve some of their goals. When they answer, repeat their answer back to them in your own words until they say that you have understood what they are telling you.
Once you have done this, you can give them some guidance about how to improve. Since they know that you understand their situation, they will be far more likely to be receptive.
Focus on the Future Instead of the Past
Remember that performance reviews are supposed to promote better performance. They are not about correcting past mistakes just for the sake of correction. And they are especially not about punishment.
As a result, make sure to frame everything in terms of future improvement. We are not discussing past employee errors to punish them or bring them to justice. Rather, we are simply trying to understand how we can keep these errors from happening in the future.
Resolve as Much Anxiety as Possible
A lot of anxiety comes from uncertainty. To help employees feel more comfortable, focus on answering their questions. This applies even if the questions are unspoken.
For example, you might want to tell them at the beginning of the review everything that you are going to do in the review. That way, they will not have to wonder if you are going to criticize them in some way or not.
On top of that, make sure to mention any consequences that they need to be aware of. You don’t want to leave them wondering what happens based on their future behavior. For similar reasons, you should also explain clearly how you will be tracking future performance.
Rely on Data as Much as Possible
Whenever possible, you should express your criticism with data. People are often resistant to criticism. But if you can cite about three examples of each criticism, people will be less likely to try to pretend that their mistakes do not form a pattern.
You also need to prioritize what you criticize. You can’t criticize everything, so you need to focus on the most important things. You may also want to focus on those things that you can provide clear data for.
If you can’t prove an employee is making a certain mistake, it might be better just not to mention it at all. That way, you can focus their attention on the errors that you can clearly demonstrate to them with data.
Put Together a System to Manage Your Performance Reviews
It is one thing to know how you will perform each performance review. But you also need to know how you will manage your schedule of many reviews. Make sure to give yourself extra time between reviews in case a review goes a little bit longer.
On top of that, think through your own energy needs. Make sure you know how and what you will eat between reviews. If necessary, plan some breaks into your schedule so that you can recuperate in preparation for the next review.
The more that you understand how to handle performance appraisal during your year-end reviews, the more you might be interested in tools to help you with performance evaluations. Sometimes, the sheer number of employee reviews can make it extremely difficult to consistently bring your best to the table.
Check out this link to learn more about the tools that can help you make your performance reviews go as smoothly as possible!
Understand How to Handle Annual Performance Reviews
We hope learning about how to handle annual performance reviews has been helpful for you. This can be a stressful time of year for many managers and business leaders. The wide variety of employee dispositions can make it difficult to know how to handle a review for each of them.
Therefore, learning a little bit more about common techniques for improving annual performance reviews is an investment. To learn more about the latest information in business and more, check out our other articles!