Employee Reviews Are a Game Changer

I have worked with teams of employees in numerous companies in a variety of different industries. I have managed employees with only high school degrees as well as those that are highly educated. I have worked with smart, talented and experienced folks and those who do not possess those attributes. Based on these experiences I have formulated my own philosophy of what makes a quality employee. If you have been following my articles from inception then you already know that I believe passion to be the number one quality to seek when searching for a new employee. Right behind that is someone who is self reflective and always looking to improve.

My number one mantra in business is that knowledge is power. Without knowing where your faults are and what you could be doing better you have no way of correcting them. And in business, if your are not constantly improving then you are failing. Therefore as a business leader you have responsibility to communicate strengths and weaknesses to each of your employees. As a manager, how do you constructively inform necessary improvements to individual members of your team without scarring them?

Having one-on-one conversations with an employee can be effective but they must be handled with proper care. Informal talks will generally lead to you focusing on the area for improvement without also pointing out what they are doing well (praise). You are better off scheduling monthly and annual reviews for each employee where both you and the employee have the chance prepare everything you want to communicate. The employee should have the chance to express themselves first in which they will mostly focus on their positive accomplishments. Once they have finished expressing themselves it is your turn but before you dive into your prepared thoughts, make sure to acknowledge their comments and what you agree and disagree with.

Now it is your turn. Your prepared review should start and end with something positive. Furthermore, you should try to alternate between something positive and negative so your employee does not feel attacked which will lead them to tune out. The purpose of these meeting is to discuss what the employee has done well but also be sure to communicate what needs improvement and the positive results that improvement could bring.This knowledge transfer gives them employee the power to use that information to improve future results and continue becoming the best employee they can be. While addressing your employee it is of utmost importance to have evidence of your thoughts and findings as well as allow the employee and opportunity to refute or agree with you.

Once you have done your part all you can hope for is that the employee has the passion and desire to improve.