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How to Conduct Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Dec 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

If you are like most employers, you put a lot of effort into hiring the right people. After all, you have a vested interest in making sure candidates have the specific education, skills, and experience they need to be successful in your organization. You also understand the importance of vetting potential new hires before they join your company, and providing the training and onboarding they need to be successful. 

However, some companies don't put much effort into making sure that the workforce they have in place is actually the workforce they need. Conducting targeted, regular performance reviews of existing staff can be an important way of determining whether your employees are making the grade. Performance evaluations can also provide valuable insight, helping you fine-tune your job descriptions so that future openings are filled by the type of workers who can meet your needs more effectively and efficiently. 

Follow these five tips to make the most of performance evaluations:

1. Use self-evaluations

While the primary purpose of your performance evaluation is to provide your employees with feedback about how well they are meeting the requirements of their jobs, you don't need to rely solely on your own observations. Asking workers to complete a brief self-evaluation prior to your face-to-face performance reviews can help you make the most of those meetings. Use the employee's own evaluation to help guide your discussion, providing input and feedback about what you have observed where appropriate.

2. Review performance compared to expectations

Fair performance reviews evaluate employees' actual performance against expectations, as specified in a job description and/or other position-specific guiding documents. If those expectations for your employees' job responsibilities change over time for any reason, position descriptions should be updated. If employees' performance is measured against certain metrics, document those somewhere too, so you can make an accurate and fair comparison when it's time to review how well employees are (or are not) meeting expectations.

3. Consider 360-degree feedback

Just as an employee's self-evaluation can be helpful, it can also be beneficial to solicit feedback from other colleagues or employees who have worked directly or closely with the employee being evaluated. When requesting feedback from multiple sources, be consistent with the questions you're asking, and make it as easy as possible for others to provide requested feedback. 

4. Don't focus solely on positives or negatives

Feedback provided in employee performance reviews should include information both about what the employee is doing really well and about how he or she can improve performance. 

Focusing just on the positives isn't helpful - to your employee, or to your company. Similarly, focusing solely on areas where you want your employee to improve can be disheartening. If the goal truly is to coach and mold employees, you can use performance evaluations to help motivate different behavior.

5. Recognize when an employee is no longer a good fit for their job

The performance appraisal process can be invaluable in improving performance and behavior. However, sometimes, it can also provide an opportunity to make strategic changes. Whether due to changes in your company or changes in an employee's behavior or attitude, sometimes there's a need to revisit whether you have the right people in the right roles. Your performance evaluations can help make those decisions easier and more straightforward for everyone involved. 

Need to Change Up Your Strategy?

Turn to Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS) for help finding the candidates that will succeed. Whether you are looking for contract placement, permanent staffers, temp-to-perm workers, ICS has you covered. To learn more about our award-winning services and to find out how ICS can meet your staffing needs, contact us in any of our eight national offices (New York, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, and Denver.) 

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