Every year it rolls around, and every year you dread it. Those annual performance reviews can cause anxiety for even the most seasoned managers. Let’s face it; so many things can get fouled up in a year’s time, and it’s your responsibility to address each one of them. That alone can add plenty of controversial and adversarial drama. It’s no wonder you approach it with trepidation.
But is that the way it should be? Probably not. The performance review should be used as a potent tool for creating a stable employee-manager relationship. And that can happen when the discussion is a component of a continuous performance management strategy rather than as something that has to be gotten through once every year.
Of course, you need to prepare for a successful performance review, but if it’s done correctly, no one need be anxious about it, and most will likely look forward to it.
Here are some things to consider:
Don’t shy away from giving constructive feedback
Your workers deserve to receive feedback that helps them to improve their performance. And studies have shown that most of them want it. But many managers don’t like to give critical input because they mistakenly believe it can damage their relationships with their team members.
The truth is that managers need to give performance feedback regularly to make sure their people feel recognized and understand what you expect of them. Only then can they make the changes that will result in their success, so it is critical that managers provide continuous feedback and coaching—not the once-a-year variety—to help them improve their skills and become highly motivated and top-performing workers.
Show them the link between their performance and the success of the company
The performance review is the perfect opportunity for managers to talk about the company’s progress and achievements. It’s also an excellent time to inform employees about the direction the company is taking and how their skills have facilitated those accomplishments and will help the organization in future endeavors.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to highlight how the employees have had a direct impact on the company’s success and will continue to influence the organization’s future strategic direction. All of this will build powerful relationships and help them to feel appreciated and connected.
Collaborate with them for future success
The performance review can help managers communicate the need for continuous development so employees can work toward meeting their career goals. Much of the discussion should be devoted to their future growth, while you reinforce your support for them.
Employees who are new or struggling are hoping for advice and support on the things they need to do to be successful. The performance review provides the perfect opportunity to collaborate with employees as they work toward success.
It’s also important to keep your top performers engaged and challenged. The review can focus on finding new and demanding assignments that will keep them stretching.
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