Hacks – Reviews and Performance
1. Don’t start compiling all of your feedback only at review time; take notes on performance continuously throughout the year.
Trying to remember a year’s worth of performance can be incredibly difficult and lead to bias in the review process. Be sure to document your direct reports’ performance continuously throughout the year. This will save you time come review season and ensure that your employees are receiving a fair evaluation.
2. Keep all of your notes on your employees’ performance in one place so your meetings are consistent and you can address any issues quickly.
Paper and Google Docs are not sufficient enough to track employee performance data. We recommend using a tool to keep all of your notes and comments organized and easily accessible.
3. Stay away from ratings during performance reviews.
“At The Infatuation, we’re trying to stay away from a rating or “grade” during performance review time. I’ve found people can get hung up on that number. They fixate on it, instead of focusing on improving the skills or behaviors that will actually create progress. Save grading for goal setting, and keep reviews qualitative.”
4. Always double-check your reviews before you submit to ensure they are not biased.
Minimize bias in your performance reviews by ensuring that there is no mention to an employees’ gender, ethnicity, or economic status in your comments. Consult BiasInterrupters.org’s great worksheet on identifying bias in performance evaluations if you are unsure.
5. Prepare areas of development for employees who are not meeting expectations.
Recognizing that an employee is falling behind is one thing, but coaching them to improve is something that separates bad managers from great ones. Make sure you head into a performance review with some concrete details about how an employee can improve performance.
6. Individualize improvement suggestions and plans.
As a great manager, you recognize that all of your employees take criticism and feedback in different ways. This is why it’s important to individualize all of your comments and avoid generalizing their specific behaviors that are impacting their performance.
7. Recognize when to walk away.
Sometimes disengaged employees cannot be saved. This is why it’s important to recognize when an employee just might not be the best fit for your company.