5 Tips to Give Performance Reviews that Actually Inspire Your Employees

The idea of the performance review has been around since the early 1900’s, but just like our work culture and environments have changed, the way we perform employee reviews has evolved. What came to be known as the “Standard Review,” society began to largely detest. It’s seen by many as a time-waster, and at times, unfair to employees. Today, performance management is rapidly evolving to match with our more fluid work cultures and many organizations are putting more effort into shifting their methods and philosophies.

Whether your organization is more traditional with an annual review, has transitioned to ongoing evaluations, or find yourself somewhere in between, these tips will help establish a process that will benefit both the employee and the organization.

The Review Process Should Be a Year-Round Activity

If you haven’t said goodbye to the annual review yet, now is the time to think about making the switch. Providing constructive feedback and acknowledging accomplishments in real-time is much more effective in keeping employees engaged. However, you still want to be consistent with your schedule. Moving to an ongoing feedback approach makes your review process more commonplace and appreciated rather than rare and stressful. Consider implementing the following:

  • Weekly one-on-ones- to review current issues, challenges, and goal progress.

  • Quarterly check-ins- to review the past quater’s goals, accomplishments, and to set new ones.

  • Immediate meetings- to give instant feedback or praise, when needed, for a specific issue.

Set Clear and Measurable Goals

Your employees should have a clear understanding of your expectations. Set well-chosen goals around both their work performance and skill development to keep them motivated and ensure they are growing. Checking in on these goals should be central to your regular meetings.

Let Your Employees Lead

Have your employees take the lead in the discussions to keep them more invested in the discussion. Have them involved in filling out the forms that will guide your discussion points or issue it to them for review ahead of time.

Don’t forget About Achievements

Too often performance reviews can feel disciplinary rather than constructive, and often discourages employees. Try reframing your meetings to a “progress review” that focuses on continued improvement and development. Recognize important milestones and help your employees understand how they can further their success.

Create Opportunities for Mutual Feedback

Feedback in your review process should never be a one way street. In order to build trust, your employees need to feel safe to express their ideas and even provide management feedback. Leadership should not only provide employees with an easy way to provide feedback, but encourage it.

Overall, the goal of your process should be to give meaningful reviews that your employees look forward to. The results will be motivated and engaged employees, ensuring your organization and its people will continue to strengthen.




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