Performance reviews are the bane of managers and employees alike, but ineffective or paint-by-numbers evaluations are irritating to employees and unhelpful to managers when they need to discipline or reward employees. If your HR files are full of vague or effusive performance reviews, then your evaluation process is anything but effective. Meaningless performance reviews are a waste of time and resources. If you want to make performance reviews effective and meaningful, read on for the best ways to improve your performance reviews.
Review the Review
One hallmark of bad performance reviews is using forms that describe positions or job tasks that bear little resemblance to the employee’s actual job duties. An effective performance review tool is re-evaluated annually to make sure the review reflects the job description and the responsibilities of the employee. Likewise, job descriptions should be updated often to ensure they are still pertinent to the job. Giving an employee an old job description is a recipe for disaster, and evaluating an employee on the basis of outdated information is useless – until it can be used against you in the event of a disciplinary action.
Simplify the Process …
Evaluations that are pages long and/or comprised of multiple scores and formulas may seem like the best route to objective review process, but in truth, they often confuse evaluators and employees alike. To stay on the safe side, evaluators often give great evaluations to mediocre or even bad employees because they don’t understand how to make their observations fit the form. While training evaluators to review performance can help, the best way to make your performance reviews more effective is to whittle down the process. A less-involved review form ensures evaluators are more effective at conveying the employee’s accomplishments and needs for improvement.
… But Add a Few Steps
One familiar complaint about performance reviews is that despite being yearly, they truly only evaluate what is freshest in the evaluator’s mind. A great way to make evaluations more honest and effective is to replace that once-yearly evaluation with simpler quarterly reviews that, taken in total, make up a yearly review. This system creates a more rounded review while also giving more opportunities for coaching and other performance assistance or discipline.
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