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Handling a performance review

It is a constant battle for business owners to encourage their staff to be proactive and constantly improving at work. It’s the old saying of being too consumed in the day to day operations rather than taking time to look at performance and progress of individual staff.

Constant reviews of staff performance are critical for employers that want to grow their business. Appraising performance is great for both sides. It allows the employer to give constructive feedback and gives the employee an opportunity to get feedback on their performance and voice any opinions of their own.

Performance appraisals should be used to communicate how well an employee’s performance meets the needs and demands of his or her role within the business. It is also a vital communication vehicle.

Approaching performance review discussions positively and productively is an important step in building your team’s confidence in the process.

Be prepared: Ensure that you are well prepared for performance appraisal by considering the employee’s past performance appraisals, training records and other objective evidence of performance (e.g. attendance records, billings, customer feedback). If necessary, obtain feedback from other colleagues. The employee should also be given adequate time to complete a self-assessment of their own performance.

You should be prepared to answer any questions that the employee could potentially ask, and be ready to discuss remuneration and career progression.

Open positively: Acknowledge the strengths and contributions of team members early in the discussion. Crediting their efforts will let them know they’re valued, make them more receptive to constructive feedback, and help them enter the conversation comfortably.
Never ambush the employee: The performance appraisal should not be viewed as an isolated event at which an employee is given feedback about their performance, particularly if the feedback is negative.

Maintain a balance: Both the positive and negative aspects of the employee’s performance should be discussed.

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