Skip to content

Talent Management

Staff Performance Review Checklist

Access The Performance Review Checklist

PGRpdiBjbGFzcz0id3AtYmxvY2stYnV0dG9ucyI+CjxkaXYgY2xhc3M9IndwLWJsb2NrLWJ1dHRvbiI+PGEgY2xhc3M9IndwLWJsb2NrLWJ1dHRvbl9fbGluayIgaHJlZj0iaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cucGF5Y29yLmNvbS93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMS8wNS9QZXJmb3JtYW5jZS1SZXZpZXctQ2hlY2tsaXN0LnBkZiIgdGFyZ2V0PSJfYmxhbmsiIHJlbD0ibm9yZWZlcnJlciBub29wZW5lciI+RG93bmxvYWQgQ2hlY2tsaXN0PC9hPjwvZGl2Pgo8L2Rpdj4=

One Minute Takeaway

  • Employees do not get the feedback they need in performance reviews
  • Performance reviews can be helpful if managers prepare appropriately
  • You can improve the performance review process with proper planning

Neither managers nor employees like the annual performance review. One in five employees would rather call in sick than have one (TriNet & Wakefield). There’s a lot wrong with traditional performance reviews. It takes a whole new mindset to really do it right.

We can’t solve all the problems here, but we can start with a simple planning tool. The goal of the checklist is to help you remember all the moving parts that go into a review, as well as give you some practical tips on how to make a review go smoothly.

Prepare for the Performance Review of Your Staff

A performance review, when done right, can be a great tool for employee engagement and development. To get off to a good start, create reminders well in advance so it will not be a surprise for anyone. Additionally, even though you may have reviews automatically scheduled a year out (based on starting dates) schedule time before the date to gather feedback and documents related to your employee’s performance. If there is a rating scale, or a specific form of software, make sure your employee is clear on how to use it.

What to Include in a Performance Review

Avoid biases by including a mix of timely feedback, project results and a conversation about goals in every staff performance review. Take time to discuss specific learnings and offer constructive feedback. Here are a few other items to include:

  • Feedback from Multiple Sources
    When you prepare in advance, you can gather 360 feedback. Inquire about your employee’s project work, if applicable, from peers, internal clients and other stakeholders to understand how their performance has impacted the team.
  • An Employee’s Self-Evaluation
    Request that your employee keeps a record of accomplishments and can personally assess their own performance in advance of the review, especially as it relates to goals and company objectives.
  • Core Competencies
    Having an up-to-date job description for each of your employees is a great way to manage expectations of core competencies. You can then use data from 1:1s during the evaluation term (previous quarter, past 6 months, 1 year) to gauge performance according to the description.
  • Development Plans & Goals
    You’ll also want to take a look at the previous review to understand how performance has changed from one evaluation period to the next. Include the development of SMART goals, especially as they relate to larger company objectives, if you haven’t already. Work to understand obstacles in the way of your employee’s movement toward goals, so you can both create a plan forward.

Conducting the Performance Review

After you have collected your supporting documents and enabled your staff to also prepare, it is important to select, whether virtual or in-person, a confidential space and time in which your employee can comfortably receive feedback (favorable or unfavorable). As you discuss the details of what’s happened, ensure you are also setting up action plans to address any concerns.

Use this time to also discuss your employee’s career aspirations and set appropriate objectives for future roles. Revise or set fresh objectives, if necessary. Lastly, some organizations require signatures for performance reviews. Consult the company policy to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements ahead of time so that you can close the loop.

If you would like to learn more about how to upgrade your performance management process, check out Paycor Talent Development. Paycor Talent Development moves beyond the annual performance review by allowing you to create a culture of continuous development.