Each year most employers give their employees an annual performance review. One complaint I have with many leaders is that they save up all they negative feedback for the annual review. This is very inappropriate. The annual performance review should be a time of reflection on the past year, not a gripe session. The annual performance review is a time for leaders to do three things.
Give Constructive Criticism
It is important for leaders to point out strengths of their employees prior to giving any criticism. Once the strengths have been discussed, leaders can identify areas of weakness within their employees. Once the weakness has been discussed, the leader should give the employees suggestions on how to improve and overcome their weakness. If the leader does not give suggestions for improvement, the employee will feel less valued.
Leaders should regularly express appreciation to their employees. The employees need to hear the leader tell them they are an important asset to the company. The leader must also convey to the employee that he/she is important to the success of the company. This should be done all year long, but especially during the annual review.
Set Goals for Future Improvement
Once the leader has discussed the strengths and weaknesses with the employee and expressed appreciation, the leader should set goals for future improvement with the employee. These goals should be related to the employee’s weaknesses and the long-term career goals.
There are many problems with performance reviews that I did not discuss in this blog post. However, if leaders follow the above mentioned techniques the performance review experience will be a much better experience.
What techniques have you found useful for performance reviews?