What It Is
During an employee performance review, a manager assesses an employee’s job performance and then discusses the assessment with him/her. A good performance review also affords the employee a chance to ask questions, as well as to make suggestions or comments about the organization.
Organizations generally conduct employee performance reviews once a year, with intermittent progress checks along the way. Progress checks are important, as they allow managers and employees to vet any issues before they impair job performance.
Why It Matters
An employee performance review does the following:
- Reinforces good job performance
- Helps improve unsatisfactory job performance
- Makes sure employees and managers understand each other’s expectations
- Allows employees and managers to create goals, as well as plans to achieve those goals
- Improves communication between managers and staff members
The following steps will help you get started:
1. Research good employee performance review techniques
2. Choose templates and worksheets
Research review techniques
Before jumping in to a review session, make sure you know what a good review entails. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp give the following tips for conducting a good employee performance review:
- Be Prepared
- Lead with the positive
- Don’t be confrontational
- Keep it real
- Be consistent
- Make it a two-way conversation
- Discuss work/life balance
- Be a good listener
- Review regularly
Choose templates and worksheets
Documenting the review process is also important, so make sure you have the appropriate paperwork before you meet with your employees.
For example, a good template can help you organize your thoughts about an employee’s performance, which will make it easier to conduct the review. You can find employee performance review templates here and here.
A goal worksheet can also help an employee review go more smoothly. Bringing a worksheet to the review will help you and your employee create goals together, which will ensure that his/her job performance improves over the next year. It will also keep you and the employee “on the same page,” both literally and figuratively.
Click here to download a worksheet that will help you make and organize SMART goals. SMART goals are
To learn more about SMART goals, click here.
1. Include environmental and social goals
2. Try a 360-degree evaluation
3. Remember the progress checks
Include environmental and social goals
Encouraging environmental and social goal setting can help you improve sustainability at the individual and organizational level. When you meet with an employee, incorporate your organization’s sustainability goals into his/her goal list. For example, an employee can easily add any of the following goals to his/her worksheet:
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Bike to work at least once a week
- Organize a carpool group
- Recycle whenever possible
Try a 360-degree evaluation
A 360-degree evaluation includes input from
- The employee him/herself
Allowing each of these groups or individuals to evaluate an employee’s performance will help you?and the employee?understand his/her performance from multiple perspectives.
Note, “It is not [always] necessary?to include [feedback from all of these sources] in a particular appraisal program. The organizational culture and mission must be considered, and the purpose of feedback will differ with each source.”
Remember the progress checks
After annual employee performance reviews, don’t forget to meet with employees periodically throughout the year to make sure things are going smoothly. Progress checks let you see how employees are doing and give employees a chance to voice questions, comments, or concerns. Progress checks also let you update employees on their performances, meaning the annual employee performance reviews won’t surprise them.
Army Management Engineering College (AMEC) “is one of the first federal agencies to use a 360-degree [employee performance review] process.” Patrick Moylan, an AMEC human resource specialist, says that involving employees in the review process has increased everyone’s satisfaction with the program, managers included. Click here for more information on the AMEC and its employee performance evaluation process.
Resources for More Information
- 199 Pre-written Employee Performance Appraisals by S. Lyster, A.E. Arthur, and A. Arthur
- Harvard Business Review on Appraising Employee Performance
- Improving Employee Performance Through Appraisal and Coaching by D. Kirkpatrick
- 360-Degree Assessment: An Overview by the United States Office of Personnel Management
- Employee Performance Reviews: Tips, Templates, and Tactics from Squidoo.com
- How to Conduct Annual Employee Reviews by Inc.com
- Ten Tips for Conducting Employee Performance Reviews from D&B Credibility Corp
- Short Employee Performance Review Form from Microsoft Office
- Performance Appraisal Templates from BusinessBalls.com (scroll down)
Employee performance reviews help managers and employees stay on the same page, making sure that everyone understands each other’s expectations and goals. This helps improve job performance and employee satisfaction. It can also help a company realize its goals on the individual and organizational, including those goals related to sustainability.
 Information retrieved from “Ten Tips for Conducting Employe Performance Reviews” on the D&B Credibility Corp website, http://smallbusiness.dnb.com/human-resources/workforce-management/1385-1.html
 Information retrieved from “360-Degree Evaluation: An Overview” on the US Office of Personnel Management website, http://www.opm.gov/perform/wppdf/360asess.pdf
 Quote retrieved from “360-Degree Appraisal: A Case Study” on the US Office of Personnel Management website, http://www.opm.gov/perform/articles/002.asp