Performance Review

What is a performance review?

A performance appraisal, aka performance review, development discussion, performance evaluation, or employee appraisal, is a periodic and systematic process for documenting and evaluating an employee's job performance.

Formerly, organizations conducted annual performance reviews for their entire workforce. However, many businesses are increasingly transitioning to a frequent feedback performance management system where managers perform quarterly, monthly or even weekly reviews. Moreover, some companies are eliminating formal performance evaluations in favor of less formal manager check-ins and one-on-ones.

What to include in an employee performance review?

Regardless of industry, the majority of employee assessments evaluate the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Cooperative effort and teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Precision and quality of work performed 
  • Punctuality, attendance, and reliability
  • The capacity to achieve objectives and meet deadlines

In addition to the employee's successes and contributions to their job or organization, a review should contain any company/position-specific competencies.

After addressing the primary areas of evaluation, you will need to evaluate and weigh each to arrive at an overall performance picture of the individual. The formatting and organization of this information are dependent on your preferences and the demands of your business. 

Some organizations utilize an A-to-F grading scale, numerical scores or percentages, or written descriptions (e.g., "most of the time," "sometimes"). Ensure that whatever system you employ is objective and straightforward to comprehend.

Once you have completed the grading process, schedule a meeting with each employee to discuss your findings. Be sure to provide transparent feedback with suitable examples and allow ample opportunity for the employee to ask questions or provide their input. Having a written copy of the evaluation can help keep track of your meeting.

How should employees prepare for a performance review?

Whether a performance review is formal or informal, the employees should be advised to prepare. Here are a few tips that will assist in the effectiveness of the evaluation for both parties:

  • Prepare notes

Before each performance assessment, encourage staff to take notes. They should outline their desired discussion subjects, strengths, limitations, and objectives.

  • Consider some examples f

Employees should be able to provide tangible examples of how they have met goals established in their previous evaluation and how they have progressed overall.

  • Self-evaluate 

Employees should practice self-evaluation by conducting fake performance evaluations. They must recognize their new strengths, shortcomings, achievements, and objectives.

  • Bring questions 

Employees should feel comfortable asking questions during performance reviews. Preparing questions in advance can assist both parties and guarantee that all important questions are asked (and answered).