Top 10 Tips for Conducting Performance Reviews

Regular conversations to review performance and offer coaching are a surefire way to engage team members and to raise performance, so why is it that so many managers dread the process?
Here are 10 ideas for making performance review enjoyable and productive for everyone:

1. Start with the big picture – vision, mission and values of the organisation, and of the individual. An actively engaged team member knows where he or she fits in and how their contribution makes a difference.

2. Accountability begins with clearly defined and shared performance goals. A lack of clarity on what is expected of a team member can undermine confidence and motivation, and lead to frustrating misunderstandings.

3. Make your team member feel important – and do it sincerely. The review conversation should be an opportunity for him or her to enjoy your undivided attention, focus and listening.

4. Schedule time in the diary – and stick to it! Moving reviews to make way for “more important” commitments signals that this conversation is not important to you.

5. Begin with the positives, and make sure your team member takes responsibility for what’s going well –as well as for any changes needed. That way the positives will be repeated and hopefully the mistakes won’t.

6. Don’t let paperwork or process get in the way of a genuine human to human conversation.

7. Who’s doing most of the talking here? Encourage your team to speak openly and listen empathetically. That way they’ll take more ownership of changes that need to be made.

8. Remember there’s a human element to performance, so that it’s often not enough to know what to do. It’s also important to know the “how”, “why” and “how well” or “how often” so that people bring their best ideas and contribution to the work they do.

9. Use good coaching questions to call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. This avoids defensiveness and encourages ownership of areas for development.

10. Finish with encouragement. A positive relationship with our line manager is one of the top 3 factors in us being engaged at work, so keep investing personally in building a trusting, rewarding work environment.

For more information about appraisals download How to Run an Effective Performance Review.