How To Do Performance Reviews Effectively In A Trice

You know the drill when it’s performance review time. Sometimes, it’s hard for someone to deliver face-to-face performance reviews, so to give a performance review effectively should be a skill in corporate culture. If you know, then performance reviews are one of the few tasks that create a lot of anxiety among employees and to balance positive feedback with the need for improvement is always lagging.

For a go-to tip to make performance reviews successful in your company may differ but universal principles about how to talk to an employee and discuss his or her performance, do exist. These tips are applicable in your daily short conversations with your employee, and they are also needed at times when there is a discussion about job goals and performance.

What Is a Performance Review?
What Should A Performance Review Look Like?
Do’s and Don’ts: Principles to Remember While Doing A Performance Review
Tips For Conducting Performance Reviews Effectively
4 Examples Of Performance Reviews

What Is a Performance Review?

You may get a notion out of a performance review, as an opportunity to unload a long list of criticisms, but that’s not 100% correct. Rather, it’s an honest evaluation of the employee’s performance, both good and bad. Think of the performance review as a way to celebrate the positives and emphasize areas where improvementsare needed and can be made too. When you build your performance review around those metrics, it gives your employees the information they need to grow within their position and benefit the business as a whole.

What Should A Performance Review Look Like?

The basic characteristics on which performance reviews are built on are:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Quality and accuracy of work
  • Attendance and dependability
  • Ability to accomplish goals and meet deadlines

So, how you chose to format and grade these components is up to you. Some organizations use the grading method of assigning A, B, C, D, and F, some use scaling order of 1 to 10, and some use percentage. Whatever system you chose, ensure that performance review is effective and understandable, and communicates the information clearly in a concise manner.

Do’s and Don’ts: Principles to Remember While Doing A Performance Review

Do Don’t
Make it clear at the beginning of the year how you’ll evaluate your employees with individual performance planning sessions. Offer general feedback; be specific on behaviours you want your employee to stop, start, and continue.
Give your employees a copy of their appraisal before the meeting so they may have their initial emotional response in private. Talk about compensation during the review; but if you must, divulge the salary information at the start of the conversation.
Deliver a positive message to your good performers by mainly concentrating on their strengths and achievements during the conversation. Sugar-coat the review for your poor performers; use the face-to-face as an opportunity to demand improvement.
Performance reviews shall not become Cliche

While performance review methods and approaches may differ, but these tips to review any performance review effectively will never ditch you. But they will help you make performance reviews polite, positive, and motivational. These tips will help you inspire the best from your employees.

Tips For Conducting Performance Reviews Effectively


1) Make the Environment Comfortable

It’s important that the environment in which you hold your performance review should be comfortable as possible as it goes a long way toward putting your employee at ease even before the meeting begins.

There’s nothing wrong with using a conference room for a performance review, but sit next to the employee rather than 20 feet away and try doing what you can to put them at ease.

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2) Minimize Distractions

Holding your performance reviews in a location other than your office is an ideal way to minimize distractions. It could be a coworking space or a quiet café. Even simple interruptions like phone calls, emails, or your mobile phone beeping, someone knocking on your door; always try to diminish the effectiveness and poignancy of what you have to say.

If you have decided to hold the performance review in your office meeting room, then silence your phones, turn off your email, and hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door before the meeting starts.

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3) Make Use Of The Job Description

This goes with managers wondering where to start when they’re faced with putting together a performance review. The suggestion would be to review the job description. When preparing it, ask yourself these questions as the basis for the rest of your Performance review:

  • Did the employee satisfy all the responsibilities and requirements listed in the job description?
  • Were there certain aspects left lacking?

I mean this may work wonders and can make your work go easy. But while you’re looking at the job description, make sure it’s up to date. Only when the job description is up to date and accurate will you be able to provide a fair performance review.

4) Conduct Reviews Frequently

Conduct reviews frequently
Conduct reviews frequently

Don’t make your performance review an annual event because it may sound weird when employees are having snacks while they are already feeling overwhelmed for the reviews pending. Instead, provide feedback throughout the year. Many businesses hold performance reviews at the end of major projects. Some set them every three months. Always choose a frequency that’s right for your business and your employees. And be sure that the performance review isn’t a surprise. Your employees should know when it’s coming.

5) Don’t Let Only Recent Performance Fill Your Evaluation

Don’t let the most recent activity of your employees fill your evaluation. A performance review should be based on everything that occurred since the last review, not just the past week or month.

Try to look at the big picture, not just the time last month when the employee saved a big project or the time, he missed a critical deadline — it can help you be more objective with your feedback.

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6) Base the Review on Key Points

Basically, a performance review should be based on three key points:

  • Company-specific core competencies.
  • Position-specific competencies.
  • Achievement.

The first two competencies may include skills such as organization, company/product knowledge, attitude, and anything else that’s important for the job. If your company hasn’t defined these competencies yet, now is a good time to do so.

7) Weigh Each Aspect Of The Employee’s Performance

It’s essential to weigh each aspect of your employees’ performance. Your performance review should be divided in a manner, for instance, company-specific competencies should be worth 20%. Position-specific competencies should be worth 30%. Achievement should be worth 50 percent (I mean this is a must to keep them going on).

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8) Hold an Annual Face-To-Face Performance Review

No matter if you are conducting a written performance review for a long time then face-to-face performance reviews meeting can make an annual event in your business. A written performance review is useful for more frequent evaluations, but it’s beneficial to hold a face-to-face review at least once per year. You convey a great deal with your tone of voice and expressions. Those things don’t come across in a letter, no matter how well-written. The face-to-face performance review also makes it possible to have a discussion about your employee’s work, rather than just a one-sided monologue.

9) End with The Positive Note

Think of your performance review as a sandwich: the positives are the bread and the negatives are the meat, lettuce, and condiments.

As we mentioned, it’s a good idea to lead with the positive to set the right mood for the performance review, but it’s also smart to end on a positive note. Chances are, the first and last thing you talk about them will be what the employee remembers most. If that last thing is negative, it could affect everything they do when they return to work.

End on a positive note, even if the employee has plenty of things to work on — so they feel good about themselves and secure in their job.

Always end the review with a positive note
Always end the review with a positive note

10) Be Open & Honest with Employees

Honesty is the best policy, so don’t be afraid to be open with your employees about their performance. Don’t sugar-coat your assessment or beat around the bush. Your employees will know when you’re being overly-flattering, and the review process is hard enough without making your employees decipher what you’re trying to say. It’s satisfying when it goes all right, because somehow in a manner everybody knows where they went wrong and where they were best at.

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11) Include Peer Feedback & Self-Appraisals

Before presenting your review to an employee, gather feedback from her co-workers. It can also be informative to your analysis if you ask the employee herself how she thinks she’s doing. The peer feedback and self-appraisals can go a long way toward giving you the most complete picture possible of an employee’s performance.

Include peer feedback and self-appraisals
Include peer feedback and self-appraisals

12) Use the Right Language

The words you use are just as important as the message you’re trying to communicate. That’s why it’s vital to use the right language during the performance review. Be as clear and specific as possible without sounding trite and insincere.

Avoid general terms like “good,” “great,” and “excellent.” Opt instead for action words like: Excels, Decisive, Responsive, Dedicated, Knowledgeable, Honest, Thorough, etc.

These types of words are more descriptive and, are more meaningful.

It’s also a good idea to create a list of strength and weakness phrases for common parts of the performance review, such as: Attendance, Attitude, Customer Service, Dependability, Flexibility, Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Performance, Teamwork, Time Management and more.

For example:

  • A strength phrase for performance is:

Michael excels at developing strategies that deliver results.

  • A weakness phrase for performance is:

Does not take initiative unless prompted.

  • A strength phrase for attitude is:

Does not let difficult circumstances get her down.

  • A weakness phrase for attitude is:

A negative attitude in some situations has a tendency to cause problems.

Just be sure to elaborate on the phrases you choose so that the employee has a clear idea of what you mean.

13) Set Goals

Reviewing old goals and setting new goals is a crucial component of every successful performance review. Because this is what actually a performance review means at the end. When you set goals for your employees, you give them the direction to work. You give them away to quantify their performance. They can look at what they’re doing and ask, “Is this habit getting me closer to achieving my goals? What can I do that would make it easier to reach those goals?”

4 Examples Of Performance Reviews

Here are some examples of performance reviews that may really work in explaining to you. Now performance reviews can be categorized as Good review, Satisfactory Review, Poor Review, Combination Review.

1. Good Review

Chandler exceeds all expectations in his role as a server. He always has a positive attitude. He adapts easily to rapid change in the workplace. He works well under pressure by herself and with other team members. He is detail-oriented and completes tasks in a timely manner. He even seeks out additional responsibilities when his schedule isn’t that tight.

2. Satisfactory Review

Cheshta meets all company expectations in her role as a customer service rep. She adapts well to client demands and changing workloads. She maintains a sense of detail and a positive attitude even under pressure. These skills, though, come at the expense of time management. And while Sheen shows an aptitude for leadership, she doesn’t actively seek out leadership training or opportunities.

3. Poor Review

At times, Kopal can be very effective at her job as a shift manager when she is engaged in her work. Unfortunately, Kopal is frequently late, and this seriously impacts the productive hours of her workday. During the next quarter, we would like Kopal to focus on attendance—being clocked in and ready to work at the start of her shift.

4. Combination Review

Aishani meets some of the company expectations in her role as a barista but falls well short of others. She is an active listener, manages her time efficiently, and is always conscientious about the quality of her work. Aishani needs to work on demonstrating professionalism at all times and, though she works well by herself, would benefit greatly from additional team-building skills.

There are some tools that can make your work go super fine and easy. So to simplify your responsibilities every day, you need a scheduling task manager. Some of the features are:

  • Sling
  • Shifts
  • Time Clock
  • Newsfeed
  • Messages
  • Tasks.
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Whatever you are providing them in the name of performance review just remember that you provide informal feedback before and after the performance review. If there’s something an employee needs to work on, be sure to make a note of it in their file so you can refer to it when it comes time for the annual performance review. This will help the employee work on their strengths and weaknesses every day.

How to handle your performance review to make it work effectively | 5 TIPS

Let them know they’re doing a good job so they don’t think they have to change. Even a simple “good job” email or note on their desk goes a long way toward helping them feel like a valuable part of the team.

In my opinion, performance reviews are the only thing which can enhance relationships between employees and manager significantly, which is a boon for customers and work relationships. So, take these performance reviews in practice too, to make this job work effectively.

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About Avantika Bhardwaj

  • New Delhi, India
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