The industry standard for performance reviews used to be either Bi-Annual or Annual. That meant that only once a year did a manager and an employee get to sit down and discuss what was working well for each of them, and what was not. Performance reviews were viewed as a chore for both parties. As it turns out, they weren’t very effective.
Today’s HR guidelines are calling for more regular interaction and feedback between managers and their employees. It would seem to me that waiting an entire year to address an issue is far too long, and on the reverse side, not giving an employee immediate feedback on a job well done is a bad idea as well. I am not advocating either of these be done in an offhanded way, but within a short period of time, it’s important to correct something that is incorrect and to acknowledge whatever an employee has done which shows initiative.
This is an excerpt from an HR site called The Balance which addresses the importance of clear expectations on the part of managers and their employees:
“Performance Review Tips
- The employee should never hear about positive performance or performance in need of improvement for the first time at your formal performance discussion meeting unless it is new information or insight. Effective managers discuss both positive performance and areas for improvement regularly, even daily or weekly. Aim to make the contents of the performance review discussion a re-emphasis of critical points.In the interest of providing regular feedback, performance reviews are not an annual event. Quarterly meetings are recommended with employees. In one client company, job planning and evaluation occurs twice a year. Career development planning for employees is also scheduled twice a year, so the employee discusses his or her job and career, formally, four times a year.
- No matter the components of your performance review process, the first step is goal setting. It is imperative that the employee knows exactly what is expected of his or her performance. Your periodic discussions about performance need to focus on these significant portions of the employee’s job.
- You need to document this job plan: goals and expectations in a job plan or job expectations format, or in your employer’s format. Without a written agreement and a shared picture of the employee’s goals, success for the employee is unlikely.“
The MOST important thing is understanding. What means one thing to me could mean an entirely different thing to you. Be sure to circle back around to each of the goals and standards and let your employee provide feedback and even pushback. Perhaps your goals for them aren’t exactly the right ones. Give and take is important. Up to a point.
If you could use some advice or training in how to handle performance reviews, make an appointment and we can go over things together.