Four Quick (Do & Don’t) Tips for Getting Staff Reviews Right

Conducting staff reviews is an essential part of being a manager, and it can be a great opportunity to:

  • Reconnect with your employees;
  • Workshop any issues; and
  • Set fresh goals for the months ahead.

To ensure reviews are positive and constructive, follow these four quick do’s and don’ts.

1. Do Not Space Reviews Too Far Apart

Instead of a formal annual review process, which can feel intimidating for employees and be onerous for busy managers, consider having less formal catch-ups more regularly.

For example, a quarterly time frame using a structured process but not necessarily formal reviews.

The more often you have these sorts of discussions with staff, the more normalised they become.

2. Do See It As a Two-way Process

A good review is not just about a manager communicating their expectations and giving feedback – you should also be receptive towards your employee and what they want to communicate.

It is often seen as an employee performance review because it is the business taking initiative and conducting the process.

However it is more a review of the employment relationship at that point in time, and it is a really good opportunity for business owners to get feedback from staff and work through any issues before they become problems.

3. Do Not Shy Away From Giving Feedback

The key to giving constructive feedback, particularly if it is a gripe that you have with a staff member’s behaviour or performance, is to back it up with specific examples.

You should not give negative feedback without being able to provide some examples to justify your concerns – use the same principal for positive feedback.

Keeping the conversation emotionally neutral and respectful, and being open to your employee’s point of view helps, as does ensuring feedback is solution-oriented.

There is no point criticising conduct that has already occurred unless there are some objectives to come out of it that you can work towards in the future.

4. Do Focus On Setting Objectives

The key outcome of a review should not be so much to review what has happened in the past, but to set objectives for employees to work towards.

Again, remember that it is a two-way process.

Some of the objectives should be related to what the business would like the person to achieve in their role, and some objectives should be related to areas the staff member wants to develop and grow.

Once objectives are set, you can decide how to measure success and quantify what has or has not been achieved at the next review.


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