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HomeCareersHow Managers Can Write the Best Employee Performance Reviews

How Managers Can Write the Best Employee Performance Reviews

The performance review is an incredibly valuable tool for communicating with the workforce about their contributions to mutual success. Whether business leaders arrange annual performance reviews or strive to offer more frequent feedback about performance, they need to be careful to produce reviews that effectively motivate workers to perform to expectations and achieve common goals.

Writing performance reviews is equal parts art and science. Here are a few tips for excelling in this stage of the performance management process.

Honesty Is Critical

A performance review is a waste of time if a manager is not willing to be honest with their staff. Almost all employees want to improve; they are desperate to know what is holding them back from the next rung of their career ladder, and a constructive performance review could give them the insight they need to reach success.

Most managers already know how individual workers are struggling, but with some high-performing workers, it might be useful to do some research to identify trouble spots before writing the review. Managers who cannot immediately think of constructive criticism to improve an employee’s performance should review the performance management process to identify challenges to overcome.

It is worth noting that honesty is not the same as brutality. Managers need to be able to tell the truth about an employee’s performance and behavior without being rude or cruel. Employees should always leave performance reviews feeling empowered to do better, so honesty should be delivered with the ultimate tact.

Face-to-face Reviews Carry Greater Impact

Written reviews are important, as they can be submitted for assessment by HR and other business leaders as well as filed away for use in future evaluations. However, face-to-face meetings are more impactful on the employee, and they give managers and workers the time and space to communicate back and forth about issues that need to be addressed.

Thus, written performance reviews should be brief and direct. Managers might limit their written reviews to the discussion points they expect to hit during their face-to-face meetings and summaries of the employee’s takeaways after the meeting has finished.

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The compliment sandwich, the criticism sandwich and the feedback sandwich are all methods of delivering feedback in ways that ensure a person is more receptive to information and more likely to take appropriate action. The process is relatively straightforward:

Start with a compliment, for example: “You completed the Acme project ahead of schedule, and the clients were impressed by the superior quality of your work.”

Slip in the criticism, for example: “You lack organized work processes, which make it difficult for your team members to collaborate and for your manager to understand your progress. I would like to offer you access to X tool, which should make it easier for you to stay organized as you complete a project.”

End with another compliment, for example: “You are clearly smart, creative and hardworking, and we are fortunate to have you on our team.

Some leaders doubt the effectiveness of the compliment sandwich, believing that employees only hear the positives and ignore the negatives. Thus, it is important to focus much of the conversation on areas where an employee can improve. Then, workers will understand that they have issues to work on while feeling valued for their contributions to the company.

Real Examples Can Provide Context

Workers accomplish so much between performance reviews that it can be difficult for them to understand what managers are referring to in their conversations. With both positive and negative talking points, managers should attach specific examples of actions and behavior to ground workers to real events. Examples provide clarity, and they prove that managers are paying attention to everything an employee says or does. What’s more, examples can allow employees the opportunity to respond with more context that managers might lack, providing more insight into over- or underperformance.

The Performance Review Should Not Be a Worker’s Only Source of Feedback

Perhaps most important of all, managers need to remember that a performance review should not be an employee’s only method of receiving feedback. Managers need to recognize the efforts and achievements of their team on an everyday basis, encouraging proper behavior and discouraging low performance with regular praise and rewards. A recognition management service or tool might be essential in helping managers track performance and dole out feedback when employees need it most.

A performance review is a powerful tool, and it is imperative that managers know how to wield it to the greatest effect. When workers feel engaged and inspired by their performance reviews, managers can be certain they are doing it right.

Syandita Malakar
Syandita Malakar
Hi guys this is Syandita. I started Business Module Hub to help you all to post updated articles on technologies, gadgets. Although I love to write about travel, food, fashion and so on. I quite love reading the articles of Business Module Hub it always update me about the new technologies and the inventions. Hope you will find Business Module Hub interesting in various way and help you accordingly. Keep blogging and stay connected....!
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