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Mistakes to Avoid to Have a Successful Performance Review

June 30th, 2015

Let’s face it – most people hate performance reviews at work. Employers avoid doing them for fear of backlash from frustrated employees or because they have to start paying people more. Many employees dread them because they feel as if they are being put in the spotlight and only the things they’ve done wrong are the focus. But, as a rule, performance reviews are the foundation of a better workplace because they connect performance goals with company objectives in a direct way.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to conduct employee performance reviews. Knowing what mistakes to avoid when conducting a successful performance review will help you to be a better manager, and your employees will appreciate that.

Conducting only annual performance reviews

Instead of the obligatory once-a-year performance review process, which makes it harder to manage, try conducting performance reviews once per quarter. This makes it more feasible for employees to understand their short and long term performance goals, rather than just focusing on a recent event that happened weeks before the annual review when nerves are high.

Not having a clear system for evaluating job relevant abilities

Don’t make the mistake of using performance reviews out of obligation, filling out some form that makes no sense given each employees duties. Instead, create a performance review system that is clear and addresses real work tasks and responsibilities. Make it a simple rating system, but have a section for writing out a custom professional development and performance plan that is geared for each employee’s success.

Comparing employees with each other

It’s never a good idea to bring up other employees or compare them in performance reviews. Why? Because each employee is his or her own person, with a unique set of skills, experiences, and perspectives. Give each employee the respect they deserve and don’t compare the level of one person’s performance with someone else.

Forgetting to listen to the employee

Performance reviews should always be a two-way conversation between management and employees. They should have as much, if not more, input in their performance goals as managers. Give employees a chance to self-evaluate before you conduct performance reviews. Listen to what they are saying, seeking clarification, and identifying any obstacles to achieving more at work.

Not being specific about performance objectives

Each employee wants to do better. This is why managers need to provide every employee with positive feedback as well as negative. Then come up with a short list of performance objectives to talk about in the next 30 to 60 days. Be specific and make sure the requests are reasonable and attainable, providing support along the way.

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