How to conduct more effective performance reviews
So, how can they conduct more effective performance reviews? HR Grapevine spoke to the experts below to find out more.
Be clear on about the agenda
From the outset, line managers and HR should be clear with what they want to talk about. Have your own feedback to give them, but also ask employees for their highlights to promote a two-way discussion. Jo Ayoubi, CEO, Track 360 told HR Grapevine: “Make sure you have good feedback as well as any points for development [to take to the performance review]. Ask them for the stand-out parts of their performance, and where they think they could be even better.
“Incorporate feedback from other sources to back up what you're going to talk about. The reviewee should have the same data, so the feedback messages are clear (even though the feedback is provided anonymously). If one person gives me a low rating, that may or may not be relevant. But if all my team give me a low rating for a particular area, such as delegating effectively, then I have to take notice. If you do use 360 feedbacks in this way, make sure you pick up the consistent positive ratings and comments too, as people will tend to focus on the negative,” Ayoubi added.
Anna Rasmussen, Founder and CEO at OpenBlend told HR Grapevine that a core aspect of effective performance reviews “lies in enabling broad and effective manager-employee conversations”. She continued: “These one-to-ones should extend beyond objective-setting and ratings to cover a wide breadth of content that includes wellbeing, motivation, and development.
“It is through these two-way conversations that we provide the employee with an opportunity to express what they need and want in order to stay well, remain motivated, and perform – and equally, it's how we enable managers to better understand their employees on an individual level,” Rasmussen added. If this is done correctly, then this can be mutually beneficial for staff and the business; employees will feel that their needs are satisfied and employers will likely get better performance and productivity in return.
While performance reviews are there to look at an employees’ recent performance, this time can also be used to look at future action points that can help with achieving goals. Ayoubi explained: “Many performance reviews now use the idea of 'feed forward' as well as feedback. This means taking the feedback discussion into future actions and goals, focussing on what can be achieved."
She draws on her own experience of what they do at Track 360. “We use 'Development Action Points' (DAPs) which are ideas for making more of your strengths and developing where your need to – DAPs are short, action-based and relevant to the individual's role and needs. If the reviewee leaves the performance review feeling there is potential for improvement and they are in control, this will be a positive outcome,” Ayoubi added.
Of course, measuring performance and ensuring that staff feel supported throughout their tenure is beneficial for multiple reasons - which is why its so crucial that HR and line managers get it right.