Conducting Employee Performance Reviews
Most of us would agree that we enjoy hearing how great of a job we’re doing, especially when that praise is unsolicited. To hear your boss say, “You did a great job handling that grumpy customer. Keep up the good work,” is not only a boost to the ego, but it also lets you know that your hard work isn’t going unnoticed. In contrast, we should also appreciate when we’re told where we can improve at our job, so long as it’s done in a constructive way.
For employees to know where they stand, there should be clearly defined rules, regulations, standards and goals put in place. The best way to let workers know what’s expected of them is to regularly conduct employee performance reviews.
Performance reviews are helpful tools when communicating with employees about where they’re succeeding or failing in their jobs.
“When you give performance evaluations, it gives you the opportunity to not only correct any performance challenges that your employees have, but it also gives you the opportunity to reinforce the good behaviors that you see,” said Claudia St. John, president of Affinity HR Group. “Giving feedback is fundamental to keeping employees engaged in doing what they do right and correcting what they do wrong.”
Providing feedback and performance reviews needs to become a habit, not something saved for the end of the year.
“Ongoing check-ins are an extremely important part of a solid performance management process,” St. John said. “If you only do a performance evaluation once a year, you’re missing the mark.”
You might be asking yourself how often you should be conducting, or receiving, a performance review. St. John recommends that some feedback be given more often than you might expect.
“Usually, we see mid-year formal check-ins and then quarterly and monthly, ‘How’s it going?’ informal check-ins,” St. John said. “If there’s one thing I would love owners or managers to think about, it’s to take the time to provide feedback that’s not just corrective or quantifiable. Instead, also have a conversation of, ‘I saw how you handled this. You did a great job.’ That is the kind of informal, immediate feedback that you can, and should, provide every week or two.”
One motivation for employees to maintain standards and reach the goals set for them is to reward their hard work.
“We have all kinds of opportunities for bonuses,” said Michael Jordan, manager of Jiffy Lube in Enid, Oklahoma. “One example is, if we have a secret shopper come in and everybody does their job like they’re supposed to, there’s a chance they can get a $500 bonus.”
However, owners and managers should be aware that not everyone is motivated by extra money.
“Different people are motivated by different things,” St. John said. “Some people value time off with their family more than an extra $100 in their paycheck.”
Another reason to conduct performance reviews is because they help keep your employees focused on the most important aspect of your business — your customers.
“It’s important to evaluate the way your employees perform because it’s linked to customer service,” Jordan said. “If the employees aren’t looking or acting right, the customer is going to notice, and business is going to go down.”