Employee Performance Reviews for Beginners
This topic can be interpreted in 2 ways- One is how should one prepare & do a Performance Review as a 1st time People Manager & the other one is if you’re a new employee, how should one prepare for a performance review to be conducted by one’s supervisor.
Here, we will be referring to the 1st one. If you have recently stepped into the managerial position, it’s ok to feel a little pressure when assessing people based on their performance. Where your MBA degree might have taught you a little about motivating and managing people under your supervision, it doesn’t prepare you for the hardest part of your job: performance review. Here are a few tips for you to refresh & incorporate into your managerial style, which will help you get better at reviews.
- Prior Homework
The first thing you need to realize that that no two employees are similar and no one is perfect. Each employee has his own strengths and weaknesses. It is the trait of a good manager to figure out the qualities of his employees. With performance reviews, you can highlight those strengths and areas of development so that a person grows professionally and is guided towards the path of success under your supervision. Make sure that you don’t do any favoritism or hold grudges against a particular employee. Always assess people on the basis of their performance. Seek inputs from peers or other stakeholders. Prepare for the discussion with facts & examples, rather than only subjective opinions.
- Use an Appropriate Tone
When writing a performance review or during a performance discussion, the tone of the content matters a lot. The tone you use shapes an employee for a better future. The goal of a performance review should not be to belittle an employee or to congratulate them on their good performance overly. The goal should always be to help them improve. You should keep certain aspects like his/her achievements, punctuality, communication skills, and cooperation etc. in mind.
- Listen to Your Employees
You must always give your employee a chance to talk so that they can tell you about their problems. Remember that a performance review is not only a nerve-wrecking experience for you but also for your employees. When you tell your employees that they lack in a certain part of their job, you must always hear their side of the story. Even if you don’t agree with them, it is always better to make them feel that their problems are being heard of. Two way open communication is the master key.
- Don’t Go Overboard With Praises or Criticism
As discussed before, the goal of a performance review is not only to let your employees know how they are doing but to help them improve at what they are doing. You don’t want to shower your high-performing employees with praises as they often get cocky and burn out. Likewise, you should not belittle someone who has had a poor year with a lot of criticism. You should make them understand that if they take the criticism made against them positively, it will help them get better and their job and their next job performance review will be a lot better. Use reviews as a way to help your employees set goals and achieve them.
About the Author: Aparna Sharma
“HR Practitioner, Board Member, Academician, Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker “
After completing her post graduation in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations (PM & IR) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, Aparna made her foray into the corporate world through Nocil and moved into different roles in the HR function in organisations like Monsanto, Novartis, UCB, Deutsche Bank, Lafarge & Greaves Cotton. In her diverse roles, Aparna has successfully been a learning partner, mentor and coach to leaders, leadership teams and organisations to build competencies, learning abilities and nimbleness for achieving purposeful performance.
She has recently been awarded Doctorate in Human Resources from California Public University, U.S.A. Her research is very contemporary & on an interesting topic of “Future of Work & Workplace-2025”.
An alumnus of IOD, Aparna was an Independent Director on the Board of T.S Alloys Ltd.(100% subsidiary of Tata Steel) & now on the Board of Rajratan Global Wire Limited. With 24 years of experience in HR across different verticals, she is currently contributing as a Board Mentor with various boards & as an advisor to various corporates in areas such as Strategic Leadership, Planning, Organization Behaviour & Strategy for Board Room Effectiveness, Organization Culture & Development, Leadership Relationships, Temperamental Traits & Derailment Factors within Boards etc.
She has been felicitated with the “ Best Employee Experience Personality of the Year 2020 ”, “ Indian HR Champion of the Year-2019”, “ Indian Business Woman of the Year 2019” award by MORPEHUS Enterprises, “ILDC-AMP Woman Excellence Award 2019 for Learning & Development”, “Best HR Trainer” by ICBM-AMP Academic Excellence Awards 2018, “Woman Achiever Award 2018” by Indian Women Convention (IWC),“MTC Global Outstanding Corporate Award for Excellence in Human Resources” during the 6th Annual Global Convention –SANKALP 2016, “Women Achievers Award” by World HRD Congress & Institute of Public Enterprise in 2013, “HR Super Achiever Award” by Star News at the 20th World HRD Congress 2012 amongst many others.
Winner of many accolades like ‘Women Leadership Award’ for BFSI (Banking, Financial Services & Insurance) Awards by Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), Hyderabad, ‘Achiever of Excellence Award’ by Bombay Management Association (BMA) & Indian Society for Training & Development (ISTD, Mumbai), she is regularly featured as one of the top women HR Leaders in the country & quoted as a Thought Leader in HR. Under her leadership at Lafarge, many in-company Global Awards such as ‘Digilearn Championship Trophy’ & ‘WAVE’ (Women Adding Value & Excellence) have been received besides external recognitions like CLO (Chief Learning Officer’s) Award consecutively for 3 years.
Beyond her corporate role as an HR Leader, Aparna also dons the hat of HR contributor through her associations with Indian Society of Training & Development (ISTD), All India Management Association (AIMA), National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM), National HRD Network, and Sumedhas, where she actively participates in disseminating her acquired knowledge and build the HR fraternity by creating future leaders. She was the Honorary Treasurer of National HRD Network, Mumbai Chapter (2012-2015) and a member of the Executive Committee. She was also elected as member of the National Executive Board of NHRDN for the period 2013-2015.
Aparna is a celebrated author of 2 best selling books – “Reality Bytes-The Role of HR in Today’s World”, (English & Hindi) Foreworded by Dr. T.V Rao & “ Between U & Me” , Foreworded by PadmaBhushan PadmaShree Dr. Devi Shetty.
To know more about Aparna, visit: – www.aparnasharma.in