Performance Reviews-Take The Beast Out!
Categories: Blog, Human Element, Incentive Plan, Performance Evaluation, Strategic Planning
These checklist items are essential to the ABC’s of performance reviews, inspiring you to…
CRAFT THE JOB DESCRIPTION
This is more than just a title and description. This is the foundation of your expectations and all aspects of your performance review.
Define tangible and intangible traits/behaviors, and create a scoring system that allows employees to know what to work toward.
INSTITUE A REWARDS SYSTEM
Determine what motivates employees beyond the dollars to define tangible and intangible consequences of actions. Build a tailored portfolio of recognition and rewards that will create a wide winners circle and not a losers circle. Meaningful recognition and incentives result in gravitation toward desired behaviors. Some of the most common favorites are: work from home, casual day, gift cards (coffee, gas, books, etc…).
CREATE 360-DEGREE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
A performance review should consist of more than just an annual checklist of excellent, good, fair, and poor. There is power in numbers and is therefore important to gather information “… from people who work for, with, and above the employee, as well as those outside the company …”.* This approach relies heavily on a high frequency of reviews and goal setting. Regular (quarterly) performance reviews and goal revisions are proven to increase performance results**.
COLLECT THE DATA
Create performance logs that supply concrete examples to ensure raters (managers and subordinates) know how to rate what they observe, and provided guidelines on appropriate vs. inappropriate criteria.
ANALYZE THE DATA
Sort the data per employee in order to make sense of it and identify the trends. Draft your interview agenda, which should include employee feedback and action items to implement.
CONDUCT THE PERFORMANCE INTERVIEW
While meeting with the employee to review the data you have collected you need to make rating consistent by keeping the interview structured for all interviewees. To alleviate the anxiety in this part of the process, see it as a collaborative learning experience for positive change based on reaffirming job expectations, correcting problems, and answering questions. As confirmed by the Alexander Hamilton Institute, Inc., feedback can have significant legal and practical management effects. Recommended feedback requires the following preparations:
- Gain experience by talking to other managers and drawing from your own experiences.
- Have a clear understanding of the message you want to convey and what you want to achieve.
- Be fair and objective. Focus on performance and not the personality or character of the performer.
- Don’t give all your feedback in one session – this may be overwhelming and possibly demoralizing if negative.
- Be consistent with company policy.
- Take the emotion out of feedback by judging the situation realistically and practically – use specific examples.
- Have something tangible (if necessary) to back your words up, for e.g. sales figures, written warnings, client approval, etc…
- Allow the employee to respond.
IMPLEMENT GOALS & FOLLOW THROUGH
You know the saying “gone but not forgotten”? Well, this step in the review process is often gone AND forgotten! Regularity is an inherent characteristic of the 360-degree performance review, which ensures continuous monitoring and execution of objectives and goals that have been set.
RATE THE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PROCESS
The key to any successful program is following through, constant monitoring of effectiveness. Review the successes and failures to refine process and create a performance review that works for your firm. Take a look at the most common Do’s and Don’ts and the performance review audit below to assist in this process.
The volume of information that is collected from this type of performance review can be overwhelming, but the impact on motivation and results is undeniable. Focus on the continuous process of goal setting and a development plan to Always Be Coaching! The success rate will soar and the gratification from the initial reward is replaced with a genuine desire to produce and grow for the betterment of the firm and its employees.
We’ve outlined pitfalls that hinder effectiveness in order to help you build pillars for performance:
- Clear job descriptions
- Clearly communicated performance expectations
- Conscientious documentation
- Relevant rating system
- Listen – explore all possible explanations in order to devise appropriate and effective solutions
- Personal bias and emotions cloud judgments
- Compensation concerns will detract from the evaluation of behavior/performance
- Extreme ratings are signs of excessive lenience/strictness or false assessments
- Prohibitive communication – condescension, comparing, overemphasizing problems
- Lack of follow-up – strong coaching cultures encourage higher employee performance
Take this audit to evaluate your current performance review process.
Ironstone can assist you in developing a custom performance review process for your firm. We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel in achieving the results your desire.
Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your Performance Review Process.
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