It’s fair to say that most managers don’t enjoy this part of their job very much. It’s also fair to say all managers could use some training with developing and delivering performance feedback. The conversation about whether performance reviews should be delivered annually or on a more frequent basis has been debated for many years. Regardless of your company’s philosophy on this, managers should be delivering some level of feedback throughout the year. The employee should not be hearing about their performance for the first time during the formal performance review period. Feedback and performance discussions can be semi-annually, quarterly or even weekly. However, it is a good idea to be on some sort of defined schedule. I recommend quarterly because its a a long enough period of time to actually gauge the success of the employee’s contributions.
Whichever timeline you select, the first step in the process is goal setting. All employees should have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound goals that relate to their specific job function. Adequate goals allow the employee to know what is expected out of them.
Make sure that the employee knows what the review process will consist of. This prepares the employee to to discuss their overall performance better. As the manager you should also make sure you are prepared. Going into a performance discussion on the fly can make the employee feel under valued or like you don’t care about their success. When you actually meet with the employee make sure to spend time highlighting the positives as much as you can. Try not to let any negative comments over shine the positive aspects. However, you still must deliver on the true nature of the employee’s performance.
Some questions that can excite and foster positive employee engagement during this process include:
- What do you think will be challenging this year?
- What support do you need from myself or others on the team to be successful?
- What are your hopes for your achievements this year?
- How often would you like to receive feedback?
Positive and effective performance discussions can enhance your relationship with employees and improve overall performance for your company.