A New Manager's Guide to Performance Reviews
Apr 17, 2023 · 8 mins read ·People Management
Stepping up into a managerial role means you now have a lot of brand-new tasks on your plate. You're handling your team now, which means you'll support them as they deliver the best possible outputs.
Work-wise, one way to get in touch with your team is through performance reviews.
An effective performance evaluation is priceless for your business.
They evaluate how well staff members perform in their current positions, ensure they feel supported, strengthen working relationships with managers, and direct staff on skills they need to develop.
Monitoring employee performance also assists management teams in determining hiring needs, budgeting for training, and identifying skills gaps.
As a new manager, handling the performance review process may be nerve-wracking. But don't worry; we're here to help!
What is a performance review?
A performance review, performance appraisal, or performance analysis is a formal evaluation conducted by management to identify an employee's strengths and weaknesses, provide comments, and set objectives for future performance.
The majority of organizations used to mandate annual performance reviews for the entire staff, but more and more businesses are shifting toward frequent feedback performance.
In this new arrangement, managers conduct assessments quarterly, monthly, or even weekly. Some companies even do away with formal performance assessments in favor of more informal management check-ins and one-on-ones.
Why are performance reviews important?
Performance evaluations affect more than just the individual employee.
The process affects many aspects of the business, from teamwork and morale to revenue and profit.
When done right, performance reviews will yield the following benefits:
Regularly praising and rewarding your staff may enhance general performance. You may recognize your staff members' efforts and reward them more frequently by conducting regular reviews, which can boost productivity.
Prevent or fix mistakes
Any incorrect work that is being done can be fixed when there are constant performance reviews.
Employees will know for sure that they are performing their duties effectively if they receive feedback rather than when left alone.
Frequent feedback can spare your staff from shame or discouragement and save you a lot of time by preventing the need to correct or reverse errors.
Improve relationships with the team
Frequent evaluations can promote confidence and generate openness. In addition, establishing clear expectations and goals is essential to foster trust so everyone is on the same page.
Self-reflection is advantageous for the team as well. Employees who are encouraged to reflect on their performance will perform better.
Makes you a better manager
Giving employees regular feedback ensures you're in touch with them, can monitor their work, and can confirm their progress toward goals.
You can find and recognize staff members who are consistently invested, engaged, or have leadership potential by conducting periodic employee surveys.
Employees can provide you with feedback through periodic reviews, which will make you a better manager.
Avoid these rookie performance review mistakes
Being a manager is all about learning from your mistakes. So don't worry if you notice that you've made one or two of the following mistakes; even seasoned leaders occasionally make them.
Performance evaluations can range from uncomfortable to motivational and everything in between.
It is your responsibility as a manager to be aware of any prejudices you may have against a particular employee because these biases could negatively affect how the employee is evaluated for their performance.
Managers can better understand employee behavior and work habits by taking notes, listening, and keeping lines of communication open.
The employee will then be able to understand and respond to your suggestions during a frictionless performance appraisal, which will help you.
You should listen more often than speak during performance reviews since they are two-way interactions.
When the employee isn't given a chance to speak, the meeting resembles more of a lecture. Ask the employees many questions and provide them with control over the agenda to prevent this.
With a simple question like "How can I help you?" you allow the person to participate actively in the conversation.
Dwelling on the negative aspects
The employee should not feel defensive at the performance review; it should instead be a positive, constructive environment.
Even unfavorable criticism can be handled in a way that encourages a fruitful dialogue and mutual understanding.
Doing it on your own
Avoid doing your performance evaluation if it is your first one as a manager. As you go through your first cycle of performance reviews, work with your HR staff for guidance.
This might be as straightforward as giving you training and materials or as practical as being present during your first few performance reviews.
HR significantly influences the effectiveness of the performance evaluation process. Therefore, together with providing direct management support, HR should make sure staff members fully comprehend the review process to reduce confusion and stress.
Ensuring a fair performance review
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to performance reviews. But, it will always work out in your favor if you give a fair assessment.
Here are some tips to ensure you deliver a fair performance review:
Recognize successes and concentrate on improvement
Have a constructive, professional, and fruitful discussion with your team members. If you need to criticize, keep the tone positive and support your arguments with facts.
Let your employees speak up
Enable employees to provide feedback by asking questions and allowing them to speak. This may also give you a fresh perspective regarding ways to support them in doing their roles.
Your employees' stress and anxiety levels could be at an all-time high. As the manager, you must be aware of this—adapt your tone to reflect empathy for individual circumstances.
Try to respond to their worries and expectations. Make them feel that you are there as their ally, and support them as much as you can.
When you have data at your fingertips, it is simpler to walk staff through the details of their performance.
For instance, you can use time tracking to inform them of your decision-making regarding employee engagement and performance management.
Your team can keep on top of their performance and productivity when you're armed with data to back up your findings and decisions.
First-time managers will have a strong starting point for developing motivating and efficient performance reviews with an understanding of best practices in performance management and typical mistakes to avoid.
When fully prepared, managers may support employees' growth and help them build on their talents, ultimately benefiting both the person and the company.