Performance Reviews: 4 Ways To Provide Constructive Feedback

Learn how to improve employee performance with constructive, actionable performance reviews.One of the biggest responsibilities owned by a manager is the professional development of their employees. Look back at how your team operated a year ago, and compare it to now. Are they working more efficiently and making regular progress?

If not, your performance training and reviews may be a contributing factor. Providing performance feedback is a critical skill that managers must possess. By making your feedback constructive, you’re able to coach improved employee performance.

Whether you’re conducting employee performance reviews on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, take note of the following tactics and apply them to your process.

Establish Standards

Before you start any evaluation process, you need to establish benchmarks for your team members to meet. For example, if you’re managing a sales team, one standard you might set would be for each salesperson to close at least four deals a month. By creating a set of standards for your team, you’re accomplishing two things:

  • Streamlining your evaluation process by ensuring accuracy and objectivity
  • Creating an even playing field for all team members by using the same standards for each evaluation

Once your standards have been set, translate them into an evaluation worksheet that you’ll use to assess your team members. Before you address performance with your employees, fill out the worksheet to create talking points for their performance review. Explain each evaluation point you’ve used to review their performance so that team members know what’s expected of them both now and in the future.

Set Professional Development Goals

Reviews shouldn’t just be about evaluating employees’ past performance. They should also provide employees with the opportunity to set professional development goals for their future.

After you’ve discussed their evaluation based on the team-wide standards you’ve set, coach employees through the goal-setting process. Where do they want to improve before their next performance review? How does achieving this goal impact their overall job performance?

Once you’ve set these goals together, be sure to include them in that employee’s next evaluation. Track their progress and acknowledge when they’ve succeeded in achieving their goals.

Maintain Two-Way Communication

Never be the only one talking in a performance review. After you’ve outlined a team member’s evaluation and discussed their goals for the upcoming review period, ask them a series of questions about their own view of their performance. Some questions that help employees effectively evaluate themselves include:

  • What was your greatest strength this month/quarter/year?
  • Where do you need improvement?
  • Do you have examples of challenges you overcame during the last month/quarter/year?
  • What were your successes?
  • What do you need from your leaders to enable future improvements and successes?

Create An Action Plan

Performance reviews are only the beginning. You can’t conduct an effective performance review if the employee leaves the conversation without a plan of action. Based on their evaluation, the goals they’ve set and the open conversation you’ve had about their performance, outline steps for your employees to receive even higher marks in their next evaluation.

Start with small ones. If an employee receives poor marks on meeting their deadlines, encourage them to start working on projects a week in advance. Provide workers with small steps they can take daily to improve their work habits and performance. With this approach to performance training, you’ll avoid addressing the same issues in your next conversation.

Preview a free Vital Learning training course now to see firsthand how you could improve employee performance.

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