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Why Performance Reviews Fail—And What You Can Do About It

Performance reviews can be an outstanding way to provide specific feedback (both positive and negative), gain buy-in from your staff, improve morale, and drive performance. But, they only work if you have a good implementation and follow-up plan.

The bad news: many companies don’t have a good plan in place. In fact, a survey conducted earlier this year found that only 45% of employees felt their managers provided good, consistent feedback. Additionally, nearly half of respondents said their supervisors didn’t even complete their performance reviews on time-or even at all.

So, what can you do to improve reviews? You can start by following these key steps:

1. Don’t wait! Nothing is worse than pushing reviews off and off. Schedule them early and don’t postpone them. Also, performance reviews don’t have to be at the end of the year. Consider conducting them quarterly.

2. Be consistent. When evaluating employees that perform the same role, hold them to the same standards and don’t play favorites.

3. Prepare. Throughout the year keep a file for each employee. Make notes with specific examples that show successes and areas for improvement. Develop a specific game plan for each employee that helps them take advantage of their best strengths, and limit any weaknesses they may have.

4. Gather feedback. If you work in a collaborative environment, gather feedback from other supervisors. You may even want to speak with coworkers to get a better sense of actual job performance to ensure your observations are accurate.

5. Allow employees time to prepare. Effective evaluations occur when employees have time to reflect on their own performance. When given time and direction, employees will often develop their own plans for improving individual performance. Also, giving employees time to prepare will make them more comfortable during the review and allow for more open communication.

Looking for more help?

At Ad-VANCE, we help a variety of organizations screen, evaluate and recruit top talent. If you need additional help with year-end reviews or hiring throughout the year, we would be happy to assist. Contact us today!

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