Performance Review Definition

What Is A Performance Review?

Performance reviews are formal assessments of employees’ work over a specific period. They are sometimes also called performance evaluations or annual appraisals.

During a performance review, managers provide feedback to workers on the following:

  • Overall performance
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Projects and tasks that have gone well
  • Areas where performance could be improved.

Future targets and goals are usually agreed during the performance review, and any professional development needs are identified.

Ideally, any manager conducting a performance review should also be familiar with the concepts associated with employee lifecycles in general and where reviews sit within this.

What’s The Purpose Of A Performance Review?

The review gives workers a better understanding of how well they are doing and where they could improve.

And for managers, it’s a vehicle for recognizing top-performing employees, setting expectations, encouraging team growth and development, and increasing employee engagement. It’s also a way to identify and deal with any problems before they escalate.

What’s Included In An Appraisal?

Performance reviews typically include an assessment of the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Accuracy and quality of work
  • Ability to meet goals and deadlines
  • Attendance, punctuality, and reliability

In addition, company and job-specific competencies are also assessed.

How Often Should Performance Reviews Take Place?

Many companies conduct performance appraisals annually, quarterly, or monthly. However, lots of businesses are moving towards a less formal structure with regular check-ins.

Nowadays, best practice is to give regular feedback to employees. So, even if your appraisal cycle is annual or quarterly, use your regular one-to-ones to discuss performance.

How Do I Evaluate Employees’ Performance?

Some companies use a grading system to evaluate performance. It could be an A to F or numeric classification. Some also use percentages.

Other organizations prefer to use written descriptions, such as ‘most of the time’ or ‘some of the time.’

Whatever system you use, make sure it’s objective and easy to understand. Even more important, ensure the worker is aware of how the scoring system works.

How Do Managers Prepare For A Performance Review?

Preparation is vital to a successful outcome. Try to wing it, and the process will fail. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

  • Document performance throughout the year: The performance review should be an honest assessment of performance throughout the entire period. It’s hard to remember what happened months ago, so you shouldn’t rely on memory alone. Check through your one-to-one meeting notes to assess the worker’s performance fairly.
  • Use actual examples: Whether feedback is positive or negative, back up your assessments with work-based examples. Doing so will make your discussions more relevant and meaningful for the worker.
  • Prepare a set of questions: The performance review should be a two-way discussion. You want to find out the employee’s take on how things have gone. A list of performance review questions provides structure and gives workers ample opportunity to have their say.
  • Ask co-workers for feedback: Valuable insights can be gained by asking colleagues, managers, and any reporting staff for their feedback.

How Do Employees Prepare For A Performance Review?

Employees should also be encouraged to prepare beforehand to get the most out of the process. Here are some tips for employees to get ready for the discussion.

  • Self-evaluate: What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments, and areas for improvement? Prepare note to take into the discussion so that you don’t forget anything.
  • Identify examples: Make sure you have concrete examples to back up your self-evaluation.
  • Come with some questions: You have your boss’s undivided attention, so make the most of it with some pre-prepared questions. Check out our dedicated blog for the inspiration to get started.

What Happens After The Performance Review?

Prepare a note of the discussion and share it with the employee so they can have input before it’s finalized. The note should also include your evaluation using the scoring system. Furthermore, outline any next steps, including SMART goals and professional development.

Review the performance review record at your regular check-ins to track the employee’s progress.

Performance Review Related Content

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