The busy person’s guide to stress-free performance reviews

How well are your staff performing? Do they love their job? Performance reviews, an open two-way conversation held once or twice a year, are a great way to find out. While you’re not legally bound to do appraisals, they’re a great tool to keep your business running smoothly.

  1. Open communication lines early
    Whether you have five or 50 staff, communication is key when it comes to performance reviews. Let your staff know early (ideally during induction) what goals and objectives they need to meet and give them a chance to voice their ideas. By reviewing and updating these at each review, it will be easier to explain why they’ve received a less-than-perfect appraisal if their performance wanes.
  2. Address challenges ASAP
    If an employee is under-performing, there are a range of things you can do to help. Just make sure you do it sooner rather than later. Try observing them and gently offering constructive advice to help them do their job better. You could offer extra training to improve their skills if necessary. Consider any challenges they’re facing outside of work – flexible working conditions may be a positive solution for both of you.
  3. Preparation is key
    Give your employee at least a couple of weeks’ notice so you both have time to prepare for the appraisal. Look at your employee’s job description, notes from previous reviews and performance indicators in advance. Send your staff member a list of questions to review ahead of time, in relation to areas such as job satisfaction, responsibilities, and work/life balance. If your employee is a star-player, get feedback from other employees or key customers to support that view.
  4. Keep it formal but friendly
    A performance appraisal isn’t Dragons’ Den or a casual chat over coffee, it’s somewhere in between. It’s a chance for both of you to honestly discuss the role, whether goals have been met, what’s good or bad about the job, and if their pay will increase and why or why not.
  5. Write everything down
    Take notes at each review and share a written summary with your employee afterwards to ensure you agree it’s a true reflection of what was discussed. This is key if a staff member isn’t performing because if you have to let them go, you’ll have proof of warnings and the steps you took to try to help them improve their work.
  6. Book in regular catch ups
    Keep employees engaged and avoid potential issues by setting up informal chats once or twice a month. You don’t have to wait for the full performance review to give staff feedback or get feedback from them.
  7. Book in an Organisational Review Workshop (optional)
    If you are struggling with the number of different tasks you are trying to manage in your business, your team members are wanting more clarity around what their roles and responsibilities are or if your team aren’t actioning these as well as you would like, then contact us about our Organisational Review Workshop. In this workshop we work with you and your team to clarify the roles, responsibilities and Key Performance Indicators in each department. This workshop will help:
    • Improve the structure of your business
    • Empower your team
    • Increase team performance.
    • Give your team clarity on their roles, responsibilities and career development opportunities.
    • Reduce your stress.
    • Make you feel more in control.
    • Reduce your involvement as a business owner so you have more time to work on your business and do the things you love.

    To find out more contact Louise on 03 374 9393.