Employee Performance Review Best Practices

While there may be no official process in place for conducting effective employee performance reviews, there are many ways managers and HR teams can perform employee evaluations in ways that foster positive outcomes and increased productivity.
Give managers a little (or a lot of) direction
Managing employees doesn’t always come naturally, so both young and experienced supervisors could use some guidance when it comes to evaluating performance. This can be as simple as “every six months, use this checklist to evaluate employees,” or as detailed as a 360-degree evaluation, which requires input from managers, peers and even the employee.
Replace annual performance reviews with frequent employee check-ins
Modern employees need regular feedback — and they need it now. Rather than conducting annual performance reviews, effective managers conduct employee check-ins at a set frequency throughout the year. It’s recommended that these meetings take place either weekly or monthly, and they should always serve as a platform for providing constructive feedback and transparency. If an employee is falling short, now is the time to address it, not after several months have gone by.
One word of caution: make sure these 1:1s cover more than just to-dos and tasks at hand, like long-term goals and career development.
Focus on achievements and progress, not tenure
The longer employees stay with your company, the greater their expectations become. However, tenure shouldn’t automatically translate to a raise, especially when there may be colleagues who may have been there less time, but have already proven themselves to be valuable assets to the company.
By reflecting on goals and other work contributions throughout the year, employees will be motivated by recognition for good work instead of expecting a sum for simply sticking around another year. But here’s the kicker: managers and HR teams need to communicate goals with employees long before the performance review so they know what’s expected of them. Regular 1:1s are the ideal time to assess employee performance in meeting goals and make adjustments along the way.
Help employees map the path to improvement
Each employee review is the opportunity to assign training. Even all-star employees have much to learn, whether it’s developing a new skill or getting certified in the latest software suite. No matter the job description, continuous improvement should be part of the job requirement.
As the modern workforce evolves, so should the methods for evaluating it. Companies that align performance evaluation and talent management with worker needs will reap the rewards of reduced turnover, higher productivity and increased employee engagement.