An Overview of the Performance Review Process

What is the Performance Review Process?

Performance reviews are formal assessments of an employee's work and contribution to a company's culture during a specific time period. These appraisals oftentimes entail self-evaluations, anonymous surveys from coworkers, and face-to-face discussions between supervisors and employees. Depending on organizational goals and staff members' needs, a firm's annual performance review process may differ.

Whichever technique companies employ, however, the overall benefits of reviews are rewarding. It allows employees to highlight their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for growth. Performance appraisals are also important for employers because they can gain insight into procedural improvements and the workplace environment. Through the evaluations, managers and employees can discuss long-term goals and motivate one another to enhance their work.

How to Create or Update an Employee Performance Review Process

A comprehensive annual review process is critical for businesses because it opens the door to improvement, boosted engagement, skills growth, and productivity. In turn, companies can better serve their customers and protect their bottom line. Employers that want to establish or revamp their performance process to ensure success can follow these best practices.

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1. Choose a Type of Review Process

There are various review processes that managers can use to ensure employees internalize the feedback given. The foundation for most review practices includes creating a transparent and safe space for employees to share their concerns and comments. The following are common processes for employee evaluations.

  • Employee Self-Evaluation - This is when employees review their own performance using qualitative and quantitative ratings. With self-evaluations, staffers can reflect on their work and provide insight into why their performance is the way it is.
  • 360-Degree Feedback - Managers that use this process must send out surveys to employees, supervisors, customers, and anyone else in the company that interacts with a specific staff member. They will then anonymously review the staffer's performance, interpersonal skills, and work ethic.
  • Numerical Ratings - Performance reviews can also be based on numerical ratings. By having specific numbers that measure employee performance, managers can easily identify trends in output over time.

2. Identify the Steps in the Review Process

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After establishing the type of employee appraisal, management must map out each step of the process. The length of the process will depend on the complexity of the chosen technique. For instance, implementing a 360-degree feedback system would require identifying necessary employees, printing surveys, and sending them out two weeks prior to the official review. Management should refer to their human resources department or representative and build a review process. Some factors to consider when doing so include the following.

  • Training - Some employees may require additional training after the review process, especially if they are new hires. Managers should prepare training material, if necessary.
  • Time - Establish a time frame for when employees can start and complete self-evaluation and coworker reviews.
  • People - Managers need to determine who will be involved in the review process. This can entail just the manager and employee or can include supervisors and other staffers.
  • Post-Review Events - After providing employee feedback, managers may decide to promote or increase salaries for top performers. It is important to set a timeline for when these actions will be implemented after the review.

3. Send Out Self-Evaluations

At this stage, management must send out forms for employees to self-evaluate their work. This will give them a chance to be more involved with the appraisal process and to share their perspective on their work. Additionally, self-reviews enable employees to refocus their goals and identify future objectives they want to achieve. While employees are completing these forms, managers should begin reviewing all their employees as well.

4. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting

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Once all evaluation forms are completed, managers can begin scheduling and conducting face-to-face meetings. These meetings enable both parties to verbally discuss expectations, achievements, and room for improvement. Employers should make sure to create a safe space where employees can speak honestly. It is also important that managers provide constructive feedback and concrete examples during these meetings. This will help employees successfully reflect and make productive enhancements.

5. Create New Goals

Near the end of the review process, managers and employees should collaborate and identify goals they want to reach together. This will help set new targets for the upcoming review period. It will also motivate employees to achieve greater accomplishments.

6. Check-In with Employees Post-Review

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After completing the review, managers should conduct regular check ins and communicate with their employees. By doing so, they can see whether or not the review made a positive impact on employee performance and productivity. In the case that there are no improvements, managers can then act quickly and implement changes.

Key Takeaways for Performance Review Process

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  • Performance review processes are steps employers take to assess an employees' work, productivity, and workplace behavior.
  • Providing regular appraisals will allow for skills growth, employee development, and boosted engagement.
  • Performance evaluations also help employees refocus their goals and identify growth opportunities.
  • Companies that want to update their review process can begin by choosing a proven evaluation method, enforcing self-reviews, and regularly checking in.