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Performance Reviews - Your Survival Guide


That time of year is rolling around again, dare we say those two words… performance review. Yes, we know they can be time consuming and there is a whole lot of paperwork involved, but they have so many positive benefits for your business. Don’t groan and roll your eyes because you don’t know where to start on your performance reviews, check out our survival guide to get you through!


Why Are Some Performance Reviews Flawed?

Performance reviews don’t always have the best reputation. Often employees are simply ranked on a scale of ‘not performing’ through to ‘exceeding expectations’ without much consideration. This system can be flawed as employees can be compared against their peers. Ratings are can be used as an easy out in place of meaningful conversations, and performance based pay increases are almost always based on the ratings.

This causes resentment and hostility towards the process from employees and managers alike.

By having a one on one review process, the results are determined almost entirely by the manager. Some managers are lenient and some are harsh, some pay close attention and some are disconnected, or they can be biased in their opinion if they particularly like or dislike an employee.

It can be a difficult task for disconnected managers to evaluate the performance of a number of employees across a long period of time. So for ease they often rank employees as first, second and third which is not a fair representation.


How Can I Make My Performance Reviews More Effective?

Performance reviews are not about rating your employees, they are about providing feedback on their work and if they are meeting expectations. Use these tips to get the most out of the experience...

●        Have regular catch ups with your team every couple of weeks to provide ongoing feedback, celebrate wins and deal with negative feedback.

●        If you choose to conduct an annual review, take notes on employees throughout the year. Reference their great achievements and the areas they need to work on. Highlight especially great work when it is completed, don’t save up your praise for an annual review.

●        There should never be any surprises for the employee in a performance review. Any deficiencies should be highlighted as soon as possible and the appropriate training given to remedy them.

●        Don’t use the opportunity as an assessment of the employee but more an open discussion on performance, expectations, and future growth.

●        You may choose to have official quarterly meetings as opposed to one annual review. This keeps the feedback channels flowing with your employees.

●        Both employers and employees should be given plenty of time to prepare for a review meeting. Taking the time to reflect and prepare notes will make the process more valuable.

●        Make sure your employee knows that their hard work is appreciated and recognise areas for advancement. Or if their performance is less than desirable, give them the guidance to improve.

●        Put personal feelings and views aside during the process and approach it objectively. Treat all employees in the same way.


Considerations for a Performance Review

Before you embark on the performance review process, it is important to take some things into consideration:


There are so many variables in day to day business. Each day your employees can work with a different team member, or they might work on a different project, expectations evolve, and personal circumstances can affect an employee’s contribution levels. You will need to take all these variables into consideration during your review process.

Multiple Opinions

When reviewing an employee’s performance, it is important to get feedback from all of the people an employee has worked with. It doesn’t just have to be those at management level either, consider how the employee interacts with their peers and subordinates also. This will help determine all of the contributions an employee has made throughout the year.

Consider the Future

Instead of focusing on an employee’s past performance, use the review process as an assessment of what they can work on for the future. This will allow you to use feedback to develop the skills of an employee.


If you need some help with getting your performance reviews sorted, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. At In2HR we are experts in all areas of HR, so can help you nail your processes.