If you’re like many business leaders, the last few months of the year mean a busy, hectic schedule. Along with the holidays, wrapping up year-end projects and planning for the New Year ahead, most businesses also throw in employee reviews. The process of evaluating employees on their performance and development can feel stressful and ineffective to managers and employees alike, but it doesn’t have to.
Having in-depth conversations about how employees are doing in their roles, what they’re doing right, areas they can improve upon, and goals for the next year can be very rewarding for everyone involved. It just comes down to how you approach it. Ideally, this type of conversation shouldn’t be limited to one day out of 365.
Clarify the Objective
Communicate why you’re having this meeting. Michael Beer, chairman of TruePoint, believes that performance evaluations and compensation discussions should be completely separate. “You can’t get someone to really listen and try to learn about what they can do to change or problem solve when they know the meeting is about what their bonus is,” Beer told Inc.com. Having clear objectives for the meeting will also enable you and the employee to properly prepare, as well as help the employee enter the conversation with the right expectation.
Take Time to Prepare
While it may not seem like a top priority, preparing for your employee’s review shouldn’t be a last-minute afterthought. “Year-end evaluations aren’t just a one-time, one-hour meeting, but something to substantively prepare for,” according to Psychology Today. “Significant thought should go into it.” Set aside time to review the employee’s previous evaluations, list of completed projects and any feedback you’ve received about that employee from co-workers, management or customers.
Make It a Dialogue
The most effective evaluation meetings are those that involve two-way communication, with both the manager and employee sharing and listening. One way to initiate a healthy dialogue is to ask employees to prepare for the review as well. This prompts them to consider their performance and think back over the past year, which means they’ll have more to share when you meet with them. Falcone recommends asking employees to consider specific questions and bring their answers to the meeting: How have you done? What can I do as your supervisor to build your skills? What will your goals be for the next year, and what are the measurable outcomes of these goals? He says that while generally 70 percent of employees will give basic answers and 10 percent won’t respond, 20 percent will “go wild.” That 20 percent represents your top performers and easily identifies the employees you want to engage the most.
Every business leader would like to enter the new year with motivated employees who have plans to succeed. And end-of-the-year employee reviews can result in just that. You simply need to take the time to ensure the process is effective, efficient and engaging. It could make all the difference in how successful your business is in the new year.
Connie Druliner, franchise owner, Express Employment Professionals, 61379 S Highway 97, Bend, OR 97702-2105. 541-389-1505, firstname.lastname@example.org