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Performance Review Tips for Managers and Employees
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Employee Experience

Performance Review Tips for Managers and Employees

Performance reviews are a vital part of any employee/manager

relationship. Yet these annual appraisals seem to be dreaded by both

parties. The philosophy behind reviews is to provide a fair and private

space where employee performance can be discussed and improved upon. The

following guidelines provide ways to change the perception of

performance reviews from one of apprehension to one of open-mindedness.

Performance Review Tips for Managers

For managers, the key to giving a good performance review is to be fair,

open-minded and encouraging. The aim is to help employees give their

best and reach their peak performance, which is achieved best through

positive, firm direction.

Managers should follow these four tips to conduct positive and

productive reviews:

Discuss specific issues: Stay away from taking digs at the

employee’s character. Evaluate performance in measurable terms rather

than discussing attitude and attributes. Use clear, nonjudgmental

language that focuses on behavior and avoids vagueness and blanket

demands. If critiques are meant to be productive, they must be specific

and actionable.

Reinforce performance standards and make a plan: By reminding

employees of what you expect from their work, it is easy to point out

errors without offending them. Be consistent with standards, so that all

employees understand what is expected. It also helps to create a

specific plan on how the employee can improve their work in the future.

Offer your help in carrying out this plan and emphasize your faith in

the employee’s potential to achieve.

Let employees contribute: It is important to treat the review as

a two-way street. Begin by asking the employee to explain how they think

they are doing and how they can improve, then talk about your own

perspective. Letting the employee have a say in his or her appraisal

process places accountability on the employee and gives them ownership

of the results.

Balance positives and negatives: Conducting a performance review

is similar to walking a tight rope: balance is everything. Withholding

positive feedback demoralizes and discourages workers, while hesitating

to point out problems prevents future improvement. Supervisors must take

into account both the feelings of employees and the success of the

company. Alternate between negative and positive statements where

applicable. This way, supervisors can send the right message without

coming across as unkind.

Performance Review Tips for Employees

For employees, the key to achieving a good performance review is keeping

the review in mind all 52 weeks of the year. Good performance is an

everyday task—one that can’t be made up a week before evaluations begin.

Here are three helpful tips for employees to keep in mind:

Toot your own horn: Treat the performance review like the first

interview with the company. Bring documentation of any awards received,

additional training completed and goals achieved. Show how you have

helped the company grow and that you are a team player.

Speak up: Before the review, write down any questions you may

have for your manager. Also, be sure to discuss concrete ways you have

improved since your last review. Make a list of goals for the upcoming

year and discuss them with your supervisor. Though sharing your thoughts

and progress is vital, so is listening. Accept feedback—positive or


Put in the effort: Being a good employee is an all-the-time job

and requires effort all weeks of the year. Preparation for the next

performance review should start as soon as this one is over.

The above tips and suggestions aren’t the only things that can help make

performance reviews easier and more enjoyable: Paycor’s Perform HR

provides a user-friendly interface for employees and supervisors to

manage performance reviews, access employee files and foster open

communication. See how we can help improve your employee management needs by starting a conversation with us today.

Sources: Business Management Daily, Inc.com, Chron.com, BC Jobs,