April is nearly upon us and not only does that mean the start of a new financial year, it’s also (typically speaking) performance review time!
Call us HR nerds, but this time of year excites us 🎉 . It’s a time to reflect on the year that’s been and plan for the year to come.
Effective performance reviews serve as an excellent motivational tool, regardless of whether performance has been good or poor. They build trust, create comfort in bringing up tough issues, provide purpose to the role and serve as an opportunity to reset on expectations.
But how do you make sure they’re effective? We’ll let you in on the secret.
Here are our top 5 tips for leading an effective performance review:
1. Don’t skip it – This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to feel ‘too busy’. Your team member’s review should be a priority. If not, you may miss opportunities for growth, performance issues can worsen, and the manager-employee relationship can take a real hit. It’s a no from us!
2. Be prepared to use examples – If things aren’t going well, why aren’t they going well? Get informed with your feedback. Reflect on their performance, take notes, and even get feedback from other stakeholders (if appropriate). Likewise, if things are going great, be specific about what they’re nailing. This reinforces good behaviour.
3. Listen more, talk less – Use the 80/20 rule. Don’t forget this is your team member’s time to be open with you too. Listen actively, be supportive and document any key discussion points if you need to circle back.
4. Use effective questions – Ask about the wins and the challenges and check in on their wellbeing. Keep your questions open. If you’re feeling courageous, you could also ask what you could do to be a better leader. Asking the right questions is one of the best ways managers can build and deepen trust.
5. Be prepared to talk about salary – Most employees expect their pay will be reviewed at the same time as their performance. That might be the case sometimes, but not always, so it pays to be prepared to talk about it. Have your facts straight, if you’re talking to a pay increase, what has gone into the calculation? Pay is sensitive and feeling confident to talk to it will serve you both well in these conversations.
Don’t shy away from performance review time! Feedback is not the enemy! We all need it to grow and learn.