Believe it or not, 63% of employers conduct formal performance reviews once a year.
Performance appraisals can be informal, data-driven, or written. Much will depend upon the nature of work done at your company.
It remains true, however, that performance evaluation is critical to employee success and the overall thriving of your business.
Here’s how it can help you.
1. Increase Performance
As with any type of work, performance reviews can improve employee productivity because it holds individuals accountable. Folks will be more likely to focus on doing a good job when they know someone is going to make note of their successes and failures regularly.
Reviews are also a great way to determine who will get what rewards for their hard work. Handing out bonuses, paid time off, and public recognition will reward employees who have gone above and beyond to ensure success for your company.
Regular checking in lets your staff know that you’re noticing if they’re working hard, as well as if they’re slacking off. It will keep everyone alert and engaged.
Your staff gives your customers and clients the first impression of your company. They will be judging whether you are competent, caring, and knowledgeable. A staff that is on top of its game will bring lots of business your way.
2. Goal Clarification
All of your staff has strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to let them know you are aware of these and want to help them improve. Clear goals can also help your staff prepare for the next performance check-in.
For example, maybe you have a staff member who is great with sales but somewhat disorganized. You can list specific changes you’d like to see. The goals should be attainable, and you should let them know that you’re available if they have any questions.
Listing specific goals makes it difficult for your staff to say they didn’t realize you wanted them to work on something.
3. Creating Opportunities For Professional Growth
Professional growth can be provided in a number of ways. For some, a conference or online class can go a long way toward improving production.
Other employees, however, may need to be challenged in new ways. For example, maybe you’ve noticed that a particular employee is spoken of highly by other workers. They have very strong sales numbers and always arrive on time and with a professional demeanor.
Such a superstar could be someone to keep in mind for management in the future. It’s smart to have strong employees in mind that you can promote when the time comes. This will also help keep them on your staff.
4. Improve Communication
It can be frustrating for employees to remain unsure of whether or not their manager is happy with their work.
Communication should always begin with a positive note. Let your staff know what it is you’re pleased with and why you’re encouraged that you have them on the team.
However, you’ll also need to let them know the ways they can improve and become even more productive. They should also know that they can ask you clarifying questions and feel free to provide suggestions as to how the company can improve.
If you want a staff you can have good professional communications with, you’ll need to provide regular performance reviews.
5. Avoid Pressure at Annual Review Time
Many employees can work the entire year without having any idea that you are unhappy with something they’re doing. Similarly, those employees who are doing a great job could leave because they aren’t sure whether or not you’re pleased with their work.
Evaluating your staff regularly can help avoid the shock that sometimes comes with an annual review. Your staff members will be well aware of their goals and strengths before they are reviewed at the end of the year. It’s important to support your staff’s morale by providing regular feedback throughout the working calendar.
6. Plenty of Options
While formal reviews with documentation may be necessary each year, there are other ways to evaluate your staff in the meantime.
For example, you can have customers evaluate employees through surveys. You can also ask for feedback from colleagues and supervisors through a simple questionnaire.
Beyond that, you can have an employee rate their own performance, including their strengths and weaknesses. Use this as an opportunity to make them aware of any room for improvement that may not be on their radar.
When creating more formal, written reviews, it’s important to get data and feedback from a few different sources to back up your evaluation. Responsiveness to this feedback is another way to gauge whether or not an employee is a long-term investment. You can go here for more great advice on conducting the evaluation itself.
In some cases, it’s important to simply give a skill evaluation. In others, you may want to provide a graphic rating scale where employees can see how they rank in categories like sales, professionalism, and attitude.
Some employees like to offer their staff a choice as to how they will be evaluated. This can ensure that you are providing it in a way they will be receptive to.
The Advantages of Performance Evaluation
Performance evaluation is so much more than a necessary evil once a year. Rather, it is a wonderful tool for improving motivation, engagement, and morale. When done properly, evaluating your staff can be a great way to make sure everyone is confident of the expectations involved in working for you.
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