After the Review

108735009The dreaded performance review is over. The stress that comes from confronting employee issues has subsided. The overwhelming schedule of fitting everyone’s appraisal into a few days or weeks is becoming more manageable. So, now what? Many managers and supervisors see the performance review as a once-a-year meeting to appease HR. Even more, employees see it as a way to get a bump in pay. These are major aspects of the outcome, but the review is much more important and should not be looked at as a once-a-year occurrence. Performance of management directly correlates with how well employees perform. Unfortunately, the easiest thing an employer can do is to focus on the worker’s past failures and guilt the employee into working harder. But if you follow these tips, you will have a great chance of achieving a more productive and successful staff.

Goals, Goals, Goals
It’s easy to understand the importance of goals but hard to achieve without proper guidance. After the review, it is good to run through expectations you have for the employee. Understanding what you expect of them will help alleviate any confusion and create a step toward better communication. One clear way to set expectations is through S.M.A.R.T. goals, which is defined as specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. When creating performance goals for your employees, make sure to include all of these measurements to ensure their success.

Don’t Be a Player, Be a Coach
Whatever the relationship you have with your employees, it’s important to know how they respond to your encouragement and discipline. The great Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” You can’t expect your employees to be perfect. But one thing you need to expect is for them to work hard and strive for perfection. Encourage your staff to be productive and inspire them with your own work ethic. Once they respect you, they will want to achieve success for the company. Teams may lose games, but they come back fighting the next time. As a business, it is important to keep your eyes on the task at hand and not focus on the past.

Step By Step
Once you set goals and expectations, the best way to help your staff achieve them is by taking it one step at a time. The classic once-a-year meeting has too many flaws to rely on. A good goal will have several stages not just the end determinant. Make sure to include checkpoints throughout the process that will help the employee achieve certain goals. Consider setting up quarterly or bi-quarterly meetings to discuss progress and to have checks and balances along the way.

Papers, Please
Throughout the ongoing process, it is vital to document everything. Obviously, the most important aspect to record is the actual review, but don’t leave out the process. When looking to see how an employee responds to a performance review, behavior change is at the top of the list. If you see a difference later, write it down. If you see no change, write it down. The reason why we document everything is to have clear-cut reasons why we adjusted a pay rate or why we decided on termination. You will be keeping yourself safe for legal purposes and will have a journal of sorts to show your worker how he or she has fared through the year.

Reward Excellence
To obtain a high level of productivity and little question of retention, make sure to reward your employees throughout the year. If you are conducting “checkups” on a regular basis, it is easy to manage an employee’s progress. Consistency gives an employee a strong will to produce more. Whether it is a gift card, an afternoon off, or taking them to lunch, a manager can achieve a staff focused on success by rewarding excellence. Remember; don’t ever let a good job go unnoticed.

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