This How to Manage Staff post carries on with the theme of Feedback, however in this one we’re focusing on Staff Reviews as a structured formalised feedback process.
When I meet small business owners and managers for the first time I often find they feel uncomfortable with the idea of reviewing individual employee performance. In my experience the main reasons seem to be:
- fear of being asked for a raise or promotion
- discomfort regarding potential confrontation
- not knowing what to talk about
- fear of appearing ignorant regarding certain business issues
- fear of having to face up to business inadequacies
- the opinion that reviews are a waste of time
- Being ‘too busy’
While these are all very typical human responses there are a couple of things I think are worth pointing out. For starters, you’re the boss. You are the one in charge, the courageous business owner with the ultimate accountability and responsibility for your businesses success. So in relation to the fear based avoidance reasons – maybe it’s time to get over it.
Secondly, there’s just too much good stuff to gain from running a properly structured Review process in your business to avoid doing it. If you have employees, there’s no excuse that justifies not having a system in place. Let me explain why.
A properly structured performance review process will:
- Increase employee engagement
- Improve business processes
- Increase the competency and output levels of your entire team
- Reduce errors and rework
- Improve team morale and culture
- Increase your awareness of your business
- Reduce the likelihood of critical errors occurring
- Increase your preferred employer status
- Help ensure compliance with workplace employment legislation
- Improve internal communication
- Allow you to delegate more effectively
- Provide a process to identify and mentor emerging leaders
- And lots of other cools stuff…
But there’s still another reason why some business owners don’t conduct formal staff reviews, and that is, they don’t know how to. But now you have this blog series, so all you need to do is make sure you implement what’s here.
So here are my key tips for making sure you’re getting full benefit from your staff performance review process.
- The word REGULAR is really importnat. Set a regular schedule for each individual’s staff reviews. Typically I recommend the higher the level of responsibility the more often an employee should be reviewed. For senior level roles I recommend quarterly as the minimum cycle, with monthly also being appropriate in many cases. Whatever it is, stick to it!
- Set a time limit to keep to and make sure you and your reviewee are both aware of the time limit in order to keep the meeting focused. I find 45 minutes to an hour is usually most productive.
- Use the Role Description as the Review Agenda, a properly structured role description should include the complete list of Key Performance Indicators for the role
- As with any effective meeting take minutes, allocate action items and follow up on previous minutes and action items
- Record recurring issues and set training or business process rectification actions to ensure they are corrected
- Ensure KPI reporting data is prepared prior to the meeting and reviewed by both parties prior to the meeting, as well as discussed during the meeting
- Stay focused on being constructive and finding solutions, guide the Reviewee away from blaming others, excuses or denial. Have them focus on taking ownership of situations, being accountable and aiming to create constructive solutions.
If you’d like more advice on how to get the best out of your review process feel free to get in contact with us here .
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