Assessing and providing employee performance feedback is crucial for effective team management. According to a Gallup poll, only 14% of workers strongly feel that their performance assessments motivate them to improve.
This indicates that many managers may need to give constructive criticism during performance evaluations, which can lead to disengagement, low morale, and, eventually, employee attrition.
Performance evaluations may be an effective tool for boosting productivity and morale in the workplace. Employees who are given feedback regularly are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged in their work compared to those who are not given feedback.
This article will give managers a brief and practical checklist to prepare for performance review sessions. We'll also talk about some things managers should say during a performance review, such as praise, criticism, expectations, acknowledgment of difficulties, and a promise to continue developing the employee.
The era of traditional annual performance reviews is over
The CPM strategy promotes continuous feedback and growth throughout the year rather than depending on the traditional yearly review procedure. Team members are becoming more outspoken about their want for consistent feedback to learn and develop in their positions, contributing to this shift.
Many team members consider this input crucial to their professional success and growth. The importance of managers making the most of these opportunities to deliver constructive criticism to their employees has never been higher. By adopting CPM and placing a premium on continuous feedback and improvement, managers can foster a more invested and productive staff that is better prepared to face the demands of today's fast-paced corporate environment.
Managers may increase the likelihood that their performance evaluations will be useful for both the individual and the company if they follow the advice below.
1. Get the facts
Before the performance review meeting, getting as much information as possible regarding the employee's performance during the last year is important.
One way to do this is to go through various data points, such as their aims and objectives, sales numbers, customer satisfaction ratings, comments from coworkers and clients, etc.
For instance,if the person is a customer service representative, you might look at their call records for quality check. You can see how many calls they've answered and how long each one took, and also conduct customer satisfaction surveys to gauge the level of customer satisfaction resulting from their work.
2. Make facts speak
While providing feedback to the employee, it's crucial to maintain an impartial stance and stick to the facts. Don't use emotive language or personal assaults that might make the worker defensive or unhappy.
Instead, you should pinpoint particular acts or behaviors needing work and discuss how to do so.
To address your teammates’ chronic tardiness to meetings, you can say, "I've noticed that you've been late to several team meetings lately. Let's discuss ways for ensuring that you're able to arrive on time in the future."
3. Review goal progression
Examining your people’s prior review period performance goals and analyzing their progress toward reaching them is critical.
This helps you determine areas where the employee has succeeded and where they need to improve.
For instance, if the person aims to boost sales by 10%, you might look at their sales data to determine if they met that target. If they fell short, you might examine why and devise plans for future development.
4. Discuss career aspirations
Your people may improve and advance in their careers by discussing development prospects. Explore the prospect of training programs or mentoring plans that can assist them in building new abilities or obtaining new experiences during the performance review discussion.
You may also explore potential career routes within the organization and how they might prepare for such responsibilities.
For example, if the person wants to be a manager in the future, you may talk about the abilities and experiences they need to gain to be successful in that capacity.
5. Provide actionable feedback
It's crucial to be detailed and give concrete examples while giving feedback to the employee. If you want your team to take feedback seriously, whether favorable or negative, you need to provide concrete examples they can work with.
In the case of positive feedback, you can say, "Your professionalism in dealing with the irate client was outstanding. You handled the situation gracefully and competently, and the client is happy with the outcome."
You may also use the following example of constructive criticism: "I've seen that you have trouble keeping track of time, which can hinder your productivity and make it hard for you to finish projects on time. Let's figure out how to divide up your time more wisely so you can get more done."
6. Align on future goals and next steps
The process of evaluating past performance should always include the establishment of future objectives. Make sure your objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) when you set them.
To illustrate, if the person is a marketing expert, you could assign them the task of growing website traffic by 25% in the coming quarter using a novel content marketing technique.
You must ensure that they know the significance of these targets and the steps necessary to reach them.
7. Ask for feedback
Performance reviews shouldn’t end with just giving feedback. As a manager, you should be asking for it too.
Every performance evaluation should solicit the person’s opinion on their performance. It demonstrates that you care about their opinions and development and want to see them succeed. More importantly, it makes them feel heard.
A few questions to consider are, "How do you feel about your performance over the last year?", and "What do you believe we could do to help your growth and development in your role?"
You may learn a lot about how your people feel about their work, and it helps you see to the gaps in your efforts as a manager.
8. Align and set expectations
Clarity should be given on what you, as a manager, anticipate from your teams during the performance review.
This may involve discussing the person’s professional aspirations and defining goals for the upcoming review period, specifying particular activities or projects the employee should focus on, or both.
For example, "In the future, I hope you will assume a more prominent leadership role in the team. I believe you have what it takes to become a valuable mentor and coach for younger team members; thus, let's collaborate to find ways for you to hone those abilities."
9. Recognize challenges, not just wins
Recognizing your people’s challenges and offering assistance and guidance whenever needed is imperative. Especially if the person has encountered obstacles or barriers in the previous quarters or years.
You can acknowledge this by saying, "I know you've been going through a tough time personally over the past several months. I wanted to tell you how proud I am of how you've managed to retain your focus and keep working hard despite everything. Just know I am here for you and will do everything possible to help you."
The Gen Zs are here. Managers need to up their game
Managers should seize the opportunity presented by performance evaluations to share their thoughts, highlight their people's successes, and outline their expectations for the future. Saying the right things during the performance review avoids conflict and creates a sense of security in the team.
Managers need to modify their performance evaluation methods to satisfy Generation Z employees' demands. Millennial and Generation Z employees are considered to be more outspoken and aggressive in their communication styles. They place high importance on regular feedback and open communication with their supervisors.
Managers need to step up their games by communicating their objectives and goals for each employee before the performance reviews.
Team leaders also need to become more open and forthright in their communications, be ready to respond to more inquiries, and offer more in-depth comments during the review process. This helps them cater to the demands of the Generation Z workforce by providing them with a performance evaluation process that is both interesting and fruitful.
Remember that employee performance assessments shouldn't be an annual occurrence but a continuous dialogue between managers and their teams.
Managers should improve their teams' productivity, morale, and performance by offering consistent feedback, coaching, and support.
To that end, before your next performance review meeting, stop and consider how your comments may affect your workers' productivity, development, and satisfaction. Performance evaluations can be a good and fruitful experience for all parties involved with some planning and care.