How Often Should You Have Employee Performance Reviews?

Fri, Jul 13, 2012


Whether s/he is the employer or the employee, if there’s one thing that neither individual is usually excited about, it is having employee performance reviews.

Probably because it’s like the adult equivalent of the parent/teacher conferences that so many of us experienced while growing up. If, as a student, you knew that you did well, there was probably still a chance that you’d get critiqued in some way (so that you could get better). And, if you didn’t do so great, there’s no telling what the potential repercussions would be. And either way, you could also tell that for the teacher, the discussion presented moments of anxiety for them as well. And who enjoys that?

However, employee performance reviews don’t have to be such a drudgery. As matter of fact, in this article, we will explore some ways to make it as pleasant as possible for the two people on both sides of the desk. One of the best ways to eliminate a lot of tension and stress is to actually have employee performance reviews on a more frequent basis than a lot of companies tend to do.

We’ll start there.

How often should you have employee performance reviews? Although a lot of companies have performance reviews on an annual basis, the truth is there is a lot of ground to cover over an entire year. Back to the school reference, even parents have the opportunity to formally meet with teachers on a quarterly basis. So honestly, when it comes to discussing how an employee is doing while on the job, it’s better to meet with them, at the very least, twice a year.

What should be discussed in the reviews? Another challenge with performance reviews is that you usually have to shift a lot of gears in one sitting. First, how the employee has been doing has to be discussed. Then, the changes that you would like to see must be addressed. And then, the topic of money (by way of a raise) tends to enter into the discussion. This alone can put both people on edge. So, if you’re not up to having two separate performance reviews simply to talk about work, then at least consider having two separate meetings so that one can strictly address job performance, while the other can determine if, when and how much of a raise is in your employee’s future.

One thing you should do to make the review all the more productive. It was a wise man who once said that a good leader is someone who knows how to serve. That said, while employees can always learn how to work better, so can their employers. Say that you have a personal assistant New York and there has been a bit of tension between the two of you for a few weeks. You’ve decided to wait until the review to address it and now that time has come. Employees feel a lot more valued when they are provided the opportunity to share what kind of improvements they feel can be made, along with hearing your point of view as well. So, remember to encourage honesty, conciseness and mutual-respect, while reiterating that at the end of the day, a review is about finding ways to do things better. Not to make anyone feel worse.

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