7 Tips to Make Your Employee Performance Reviews Productive

We’ve already passed the midpoint of 2016. For some companies that means prime time for employee performance reviews! Unfortunately, many employees seem to dread these reviews, including the managers who have to perform them. In fact, 58% of managers think employee performance reviews are not an effective use of time. So, why continue to conduct them if they are destructive and a waste of time? The truth is there are also a lot of benefits to this internal business practice.
Below are seven tips to ensure that your employee performance reviews are productive rather than destructive. These recommendations are sure to benefit your company and its employees!


7 tips to make your employee reviews productive
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1. Establish a Comfortable Environment

It is important to consider where the review will take place and the time dedicated to it. Firstly, it is clear that the meeting should take place in a private location. Also ensure that there are no interruptions, such as phone calls or other work-related distractions. Although not mutually exclusive, a positive atmosphere will most likely create positive communication. In addition, it’s beneficial to book more time for the review so that the employee does not feel rushed, and consequently, undervalued as a team member.


2. Start Off On a Positive Note

To start the review off right, it is beneficial to focus on the positives. This is an opportune time to mention anything that the employee has achieved or is doing well. In fact, it was found that 90% of employees are more motivated by positive feedback, and that positive recognition can increase engagement by 60%. Praise should be given where it is due, as well as how the employee has improved since the last review.


3. Implement Peer Reviews

A TINYpulse report found that 88% of peer-reviewed employees are happier with their jobs. In fact, when PepsiCo introduced a 360-degree feedback model, nearly 90% of executives said the system was a superior development tool compared to their previous experiences. Consequently, it will be helpful to implement peer reviews to show the employee how other team members view him or her.


4. Focus on the Review Itself

While a lot of companies tend to focus on the pay increase, it is not necessarily the best route to take during an evaluation. Consider the case with Kelly Services, a workforce and staffing solution agency. Kelly Services decided to terminate the relationship between annual score-based reviews and pay raises. Instead, the company introduced a “total rewards approach,” where pay raises are based on recognition, incentives, and other rewards.


5. Prioritize Development Over Evaluation

A Gallup Study revealed that 70% of employees think reviews should focus on skill development and professional growth revealed that 70% of employees think reviews should focus on skill development and professional growth. Millennials in particular have identified good opportunities for growth and development as one of their top professional priorities. It’s advantageous to show employees how they can improve their skills or grow professionally via more complex projects, guest speakers, or sending employees to leadership conferences.


6. Ensure you Follow Up

A crucial element to the review process is to follow-up with an employee after the review. Whether it be helping an underperformer and tracking his or her progress, or ensuring that your high performers are able to continue trending upwards, it’s crucial to keep the lines of communication open with your team members regarding their progress.

And in your everyday business practices…


7. Give Continual Feedback

A study found that 71% of employees prefer immediate feedback, even if the feedback is negative. As a result, you should ensure that you give your employees feedback right away, rather than waiting until review time. This is particularly true if the feedback is inspired by an event that occurred. Whether the feedback lasts two minutes, or 30 minutes, the frequency and duration is not important as long as it is meaningful and suits the needs of your business.



Prepared to give that review? Follow the recommendations above and employee performance evaluations will become an afterthought, just another step in an organized, well-managed process. To become a better leader and hone your managerial skills, Esprit de Corps has all the tools you need!