5 Errors to Avoid on Employee Reviews
5 Errors to Avoid on Employee Reviews
Employee reviews or performance appraisals are an integral part of the professional relationship between you and your employees. They serve as a way to let employees know what they are doing well and what they need to improve upon and also as an informative tool for you. And as a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that you complete reviews in a way that’s most helpful to all parties involved.
As with any worthwhile task, it takes time and diligence to complete a helpful employee review as well as being watchful for errors. Find out about five pitfalls of employee reviews and how to successfully avoid them.
1. Avoid Crushing an Employee’s Spirit
No one likes to have their faults examined, but it’s a necessary part of growth. As a leader, you have to exercise tact and consideration when delivering the results of each employee’s review. For every negative, you need to have at least one positive.
If you need to address an employee’s lack of punctuality, temper it with a positive comment about something they happen to excel in, such as being a dependable team member. Frame your comments in a way that makes the employee feel inspired to improve, not ashamed and crestfallen. For example, point out that the employee’s daily contributions are valuable and not being on time causes issues with deadlines.
2. Avoid Rating Too High or Too Low
Avoid tunnel vision when it comes to employees and rate them objectively. Don’t let an employee’s abundance of positive or negative traits keep you from rating them on each point in an objective manner.
For example, the fact that one employee sighs and rolls their eyes during meetings shouldn’t be a factor when rating him on his ability to close sales. Just because another employee makes a special effort to greet you each day doesn’t mean that their performance isn’t lacking in some area.
3. Avoid a Lack of Recent Data
When employee reviews occur only every six months or a year—or when you’re dealing with a large number of reviews—it can be difficult to remember important details about each person and their performance, which can make for a less-than-helpful review.
One way to remedy this is to gather specific feedback from each employee. During the time between each review, send out electronic surveys that require employees to answer in sentence form or give employees goal progression sheets to fill out and turn in at certain intervals. Both can provide valuable information that you can keep on file for reference when preparing reviews.
4. Avoid Addressing Concerns Without Finding Out the Reasons Behind Them
If an employee is often late or their performance becomes flawed in new ways, don’t simply address the issues on the surface, take the time to find out the reason behind it. Once you know what challenges the employee is facing, you might be able to help.
For example, if an employee is constantly late to work due to family obligations, perhaps you can arrange for a more flexible schedule to accommodate him or her. Or if an employee is experiencing stress from an illness in the family or his own health issues, recommend helpful resources or offer to give him time off as needed. Another issue might be any ongoing conflicts with other employees. Whatever the issue is, get to the bottom of it and attempt to help solve it.
5. Avoid Failing to Implement an Action Plan
Performance reviews aren’t helpful if you don’t take the information you’ve compiled and use it to help your employee improve. Always put a plan with specific and actionable steps in place to help the employee be more successful. Then, follow up later to see if the plan is succeeding. This step will deliver a message to employees that you are interested in helping them with their performance.