No one can do a job unless they understand what that job is. And no one can improve unless the boss lets them know how they are measuring up to the position's responsibilities.
Informal recognition and feedback is useful. But to maximize your employees' output, it's good business to create an official performance review system and then use it. To put together your performance review policy, give some serious thought to:
- What are the specific requirements of the various jobs in your business.
- How you are going to present evaluations to your employees.
- What you want to say to improve and motivate your workers.
Determine the jobs and their dutiesA performance policy should ideally facilitate and promote improvement of both your workers and your company's operational structure. If you have a company manual (or even just an org chart) you likely will have a foundation for the types of jobs your business has and what is expected.
University of Michigan library system, as well as this nice table format review. Also take a look at the various types of job-performance appraisals. Performance Appraisal Forms offers a synopsis of the four most popular methods. And Michigan State University's sample performance review letters give you an idea of what you should be looking for in a worker, as well as what you don't want to see on the job.
Put it on paperOnce you decide upon your performance system, then it's time to actually do the employee evaluations. Much like doing your taxes, the paperwork is as big a hassle as the actual review. Don't reinvent the wheel. Use a template.
Find the right wordsA form won't do you much good if you don't have the proper words to fill in the blanks. You want to be clear and precise, and set a tone that motivates and encourages as well as corrects any problems.
Give employees a chance to be heardBuild into your review process at least two face-to-face meetings between the manager and employee, one before and one after the manager writes the official review.After all, a review is just a communication device, as much for the employee as the manager.Hear the employee's side of the story before the written review and check for understanding after presenting the review.
- Run your review policy by your legal department to ensure that it meets labor law standards.
- Once your review policies are in place, follow them for every employee. Fair and equitable evaluations are crucial to ensure against charges of favoritism and potential wrongful termination lawsuits.
- Use the annual review not simply as judgment mechanism, but also as a way to improve both your workers' skills and how your company integrates those skills into the overall business operation.
- Remember that a performance review should be more than a dreaded annual task. A thoughtfully designed review can increase worker productivity, enhance company morale and increase your business profits.