Most performance reviews are a waste of time. They’re either too vague to be useful, or they focus on the wrong things. Either way, they don’t help employees improve their performance or reach their goals.
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A performance review should be a meaningful conversation between an employer and employee. It should be an opportunity to give feedback, set goals, and talk about how to improve.
Here are a few tips to make performance reviews more meaningful:
Make it a two-way conversation
A performance review should be a conversation, not a one-way monologue. The employer should do most of the talking, but the employee should also have a chance to speak.
Focus on the future
A performance review should be about setting goals for the future, not dwelling on the past. It’s an opportunity to talk about what the employee wants to achieve and how the employer can help them reach those goals.
General comments like “you need to be more organized”or “you need to be more proactive”Â are not helpful. The employer should be specific about what the employee needs to do differently and why it’s important.
Use concrete examples
Abstract comments are not as helpful as concrete examples. If the employer can point to a specific instance where the employee could have done better, it will be more helpful.
Avoid giving criticism that is personal
Performance reviews should be about the employee’s behavior, not their personality. For example, instead of saying “you’re too shy,” the employer could say “you need to be more assertive in meetings.”Â
Be aware of your tone
The way you say something is often more important than what you say. Avoid sounding judgmental, condescending, or angry. Instead, try to sound supportive and positive.
A performance review should not be a one-time event. The employer should follow up with the employee to see how they are doing and whether they are meeting their goals.
Making performance reviews more meaningful can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. When done right, performance reviews can help employees improve their performance and reach their goals.