Posts Tagged ‘Performance Reviews’

20-minute-manager-performance-reviewsA commonly dreaded task for managers in any field is giving their direct reports feedback during annual performance reviews. While most managers acknowledge that feedback is important, annual assessments routinely become a rushed ritual conducted to fulfill a human resources requirement rather than improve performance.

20 Minute Manager: Performance Reviews from Harvard Business Review Press serves as a comprehensive yet concise guide that outlines the full process of gathering and analyzing information, documenting the evaluation, sharing feedback in person, and using the review to set new goals and further employee development. It equips managers with the fundamental tools for transforming performance reviews into a constructive use of time for organizations, managers, and their direct reports.

Conducting productive performance reviews is a fundamental management skill, but it can be a difficult one to master. By following some essential guidelines, managers can transform reviews from stressful obligations into key assets:

  •  A manager should remain objective and gather evidence from direct observation, other employees, job descriptions, and additional sources to support the assessment with specific examples. The manager’s evaluation should be formally documented for professional, organizational, and legal reasons.
  • Employees should be involved throughout the evaluation process. Each employee should submit a self-evaluation before the review, be actively engaged during the meeting, and initiate ideas for the post-review development plan.
  • Evaluations should cover both notable accomplishments and gaps in performance. These should not be presented in the “sandwich” style of praise, critique, and more praise. Rather, managers should lead with achievements, be clear about gaps, and use both to stimulate productive conversation and new goals.
  • Performance reviews should always be followed up with a separate meeting to create a development plan. The plan should outline how employees will achieve two to four goals in the upcoming year, specific actions they will take, how managers will support them, and contingency plans if problems are encountered.
  • Gathering evidence for performance reviews, offering feedback, and checking on progress toward development plans should be a consistent, year-round feature of a manager’s job.

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