Performance reviews are very common in the business world – but the actual impact of these reviews leaves a lot to be desired.

They’re not only a negative experience for many employees, but they also don’t always translate into significant improvements in performance.

If you’re looking for actionable ways to improve performance reviews, here are three tips to get you started.

Hold Conversations Regularly

Traditionally, performance reviews are held annually – but this is far too infrequent. That means that some employees may have to wait a year or more for feedback on a project they just completed. At that point, feedback can be so dated it’s irrelevant, or can be perceived as antagonistic because their manager waited so long to bring it up.

People want feedback as soon as possible. Most people naturally want to correct any mistakes they are making and contribute more to the team. By having 1:1 conversations as frequently as monthly, biweekly, or even weekly, you have many more opportunities to quickly address key items.

Make it About the Team Member

Another way to vastly improve the performance review process is to let team members set the agenda. As a manager, you can always add key discussion points as needed. However, it’s important to give team members space to talk about what’s important to them.

They may have needs or concerns they want to address with their manager, or ideas about how to improve a certain process. By letting team members set the agenda, you’re demonstrating that their wellbeing is important to you and that you are there to support them.

Additionally, managers should strive to help team members identify their personal and professional goals. This further underlines your focus on supporting each team member, and gives you an opportunity to tie performance improvement to their personal goals.

Instead of performance management being about what you want, it becomes a conversation about helping team members achieve their own goals through better performance in the workplace.

Set Clear Objectives

Performance reviews aren’t just about talking about past performance; the most important part is setting a plan to improve future performance. That can’t happen without very clear objectives.

Use SMART goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Basically, pick something that’s reasonable to achieve, can be measured, and has a timeframe attached to it.

Whether the team member achieves the objective or not, it gives them valuable guidance and direction for striving to be better in the workplace.

Schedule a no-obligation call with us today to learn how we can help you meet your talent goals for 2023.