With the so-called “great resignation” underway, employers are anxious to hold onto their employees. Earlier this year, the US saw a record-breaking 4.5 million people quitting their jobs.
If you want to retain your most talented employees, then it’s more important than ever to offer credit where credit is due and help your employees feel validated. Well, there’s no better time for that than during employee evaluations. However, you still have to do them right!
Let’s talk about some of the most common performance review mistakes and how you can improve your company’s performance review process today!
1. Not Reviewing Face-to-Face
If you have 100% remote employees, then a Zoom call is essential. It’s important to go over the details of an employee performance review in a direct manner. You should be able to read their facial expressions and make eye contact while delivering these reviews.
Without this, a lot of human connection is missing. Attempting to do this over the phone may leave unintended awkward silences, which isn’t helpful for anyone’s growth. If your employees can’t see you, they may not know how to respond.
Of course, if you have in-person or hybrid workers, try to conduct these reviews in person. Zoom is helpful, but everybody knows that it isn’t perfect.
2. One-Sided Conversations
One of the worst mistakes you can make is fostering a one-sided conversation during a performance review. Employees and employers should have equal opportunities for discussion and feedback. It’s important to let them know how they are doing and give feedback for employees, but it’s a two-way street.
Ask employees if there’s anything you can do to better support them in their role within the company and listen. Try using active listening principles and ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or a “no”.
Without a two-way conversation, employees may feel targeted or attacked, especially when it comes to negative feedback. When giving feedback to employees, try to pause and give them chances to respond. You can even ask if they have any questions as you go down the line, but try not to sound intimidating when you ask for this feedback.
3. Surprising Employees
Performance reviews are not a place to dump all-new feedback on an employee. If there are performance issues with a particular employee, it’s important to talk about it with them before having a formal meeting with them.
Essentially, you don’t want to surprise employees with feedback that is completely new to them. Everything that is brought up in a performance review should reflect routine feedback the employee receives. This may require some ongoing changes to management styles, but it’s still important.
4. Waiting Too Long
Another way to prevent surprising employees with their reviews is to hold them more frequently. If you only hold performance reviews once a year, that’s a lot of time for new habits to develop and linger among employees. If performance reviews are the only time you address these issues, it could cut into productivity or cause issues with employment down the line.
Generally, we recommend holding shorter performance reviews every quarter for most businesses, as this is much better than one large one every year. However, feel free to meet with employees individually once a month to touch base in a less formal setting. Even a few minutes of conversation can make a big difference!
5. Too Much Negativity
Every employee has positives to celebrate, or else they wouldn’t still be employed. Focusing too much on the negative aspects of their reviews is a great way to reduce morale, hurt employees’ feelings, and cause unnecessary tension for everyone. It’s important to discuss areas that need improvement, but don’t dwell on them.
Employees can handle negative feedback, so tell them which areas they need to improve on. We don’t recommend “starting” with either positives or negatives. Address each topic individually, fairly, and honestly.
However, make an effort to highlight the positives of each employee and make sure they walk out understanding that they bring something important to the table. This is very important for boosting morale and giving employees a sense of importance.
6. Treating Employees Like Children
We don’t want to give out “gold stars” or ask for too small of goals from each employee. If employees are serious and motivated, then they can handle honest feedback and work with you to set goals.
Try your best not to condescend or set any type of negative tone. Instead, work with your employees to set new personalized goals for the next quarter or period.
7. Not Managing Reviews
Without the proper performance management system in place, data can easily be lost. Without it, it’s difficult to evaluate long-term employees based on their growth over time.
Always use performance evaluation templates or something to document these evaluations to keep them for future use. This can help keep a paper trail for any future issues or successes of employees, allowing you and the rest of your management team to make more informed decisions later on. Always have a performance management system to track this important data.
Common Performance Reviews Mistake
Now that you know some of the most common performance review mistakes to avoid, give your employees the best performance reviews you can.
A team that knows its strengths, weaknesses, and goals is in the best position for long-term success, and it’s your job to facilitate that. Get started today and stay up to date with our latest business news for more information!