We began the conversation on strategies for creating an effective employee review process, including setting goals and ensuring employees are not ambushed with performance issues. To continue this discussion, let’s consider one of the employment aspects most often linked to employee reviews.
Separate Reviews and Raises
For decades employers have used employee reviews as an opportunity to inform employees whether they will be receiving a raise. While this may be an efficient use of time, it’s an ineffective strategy for improving employee performance. At best, it serves as a distraction as employees await the verdict on their raise, while failing to fully absorb the more important goal oriented parts of the discussion. While employee raises should be linked to their performance, keeping the raise conversation separate from the performance conversation will help ensure effective communication and create less of an adversarial discussion.
The most important facet of a performance review is an employer’s honesty with his or her personnel. The performance review is the best opportunity an employer will likely have to effectively communicate with an employee on a one to one basis. If opportunities for praise or admonishment have been missed prior to the review, this is the chance to bring those successes and failures to the forefront. Additionally, while it is advisable to be calm and kind during a performance review, failing to give an employee a realistic picture of their performance is not going to create the desired results. The employee will not have a clear understanding of what their future goals are and will therefore be unlikely to live up to them.
Performance reviews will continue to an invaluable tool for business owners for the foreseeable future. However, the old method of check lists and numerical rating systems are no longer proving to be effective. For a truly results driven performance review strategy, employers must personalize their process and create a system that works best for them and their employees.