April 28, 2009

The Importance of Employee Performance Reviews

Employee performance reviews are essential to ensure that your company functions at its optimal level. For the well-being of employees, as well as the growth of the company, these reviews are invaluable tools to maintain a satisfying and enriching environment for all. However, most managers view performance reviews as one of their most uncomfortable tasks. A little bit of planning and preparation makes all the difference, and transforms the entire process into a productive tool.

A company’s strength lies in how secure an employee feels about his job. Remember, it’s a performance review, not a criticism session. The primary objective is to evaluate how an employee can add more value to the company. An employee should feel motivated after a performance review session. A positive attitude makes all the difference!

Of course, all companies have a mixed population of employees; some are top performers, while some are mediocre or weak. Top performers deserve appreciation, and weak performers need positive inputs. However, the real challenge for any manager is to remain consistent and act without prejudice or favoritism. The prime factors during employee performance reviews are generally the quality and quantity of work. The employee’s attitude is a secondary, but important criterion as well.

An important, yet commonly overlooked tool for effective employee performance reviews is an interactive session. Two-way communication ensures that the employee feels important, and the inputs you get might prove equally important to the company.

Performance reviews are also a great to show that you really care about your employees. Your active listening skill is valuable in showing concern for an employee's well-being. Discuss and address the concerns of the employee in a way that makes the employee feel important and acknowledged. This reaffirms the employee’s value to the company.

Avoid restricting the conversation to an employee's job. It gives a mechanical feel to the performance review and dilutes the interest of the employee. A good way to connect with your employee is to discuss how he balances his professional life with his personal. Discussing personal, but not personally sensitive topics creates a friendly ambiance, which helps the employee feel at ease and more willing to listen to your comments.

Employees are assets, and acknowledging their efforts goes a long way in increasing their value and consequently, the net worth of the company. The bottom-line: Employee performance reviews — when done correctly — increase productivity and job satisfaction.

Article by Angela Martin

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