Today, we’re going to discuss preparing for performance reviews, and offer some simple steps you can take to ensure that your reviews are as successful and stress-free as possible. prepping for the performance review.jpeg

Preparing thoroughly for employee performance reviews is one of the best things you can do to ensure a productive conversation and help strengthen the relationship with your employee. The care and attention to detail you put into the review shows the employee that you are invested in his or her career development and growth.

Here are some tips for doing your homework in advance of review time.

As we mentioned in our previous installment, you should be offering feedback—both praise and constructive criticism—on a regular basis, so that nothing in the review comes as a shock to your employee. At the same time, as a manager, you should be gathering data on your employees all year long. Keeping regular notes throughout the year documenting your employees’ successes and challenges will serve you well at review time, and afterwards as you continually track your employees’ progress. Also consider asking for input from your employees’ colleagues and clients, who can offer a different perspective than yours.

A performance review is most effective when you encourage a dialogue, so it’s important to have your employee prepare in advance as well. Offer plenty of notice and consider asking the employee to complete a self-evaluation to get his or her thoughts down before the meeting. Asking for a self-evaluation reminds employees that they are indeed part of the process, and that their input is valued. You may even ask them to share their self-evaluations in advance of the meeting, so that nothing comes as a surprise to you either.

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As you prepare your review, be as brief and specific as possible. Remember, you’re evaluating performance, not personality. Focus on things that can be measured or documented, and use language related directly to the tasks and responsibilities of the job.

Remember, there’s only so much information anyone can take in at once, and you don’t want to overwhelm your employee during the review. If you have a number of key problem areas to address, be sure you provide a clear, concise explanation of the issues with examples. Also, give your employee a chance to respond before moving on to the next issue.

To learn more about HR and benefits management, including how to manage the performance review process, visit us online at

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Topics: employee performance reviews, Performance Appraisals

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