The performance review can be an effective tool in
improving performance. However, don’t get locked into thinking of reviews
as an annual event, you may find a greater benefit in having them more
often than just once a year.
Constant, effective, manager and employee dialogue can help to keep
performance focused and identify any problems early on. Thus they can be
addressed and solved before they affect the success of the company.
The performance review process consists of observing, gathering data,
and documenting. As part of an effective performance management system
both Manager and Employee should maintain these three activities
throughout the year. Discussions based on vague judgements, rather than
recorded facts or statistics, create negative feelings and do not aid the
improvement process. For example, stating, "Your performance is poor" is
not nearly as effective or informative as "Last month, your production
figures were down by 20%". If the discussion is focused on more concrete
and specific aspects of performance it makes it possible to work together
to resolve, the issues at hand.
The performance review meeting itself needs to be documented to provide
a summary, on paper, of the discussions, conclusions and action plans that
are decided upon and can be kept in the employee’s personal file for
future reference. This sets clear goals for the employee and employer to
You may also find when you diagnose a problem with an employee, and
formulate a successful plan of action to remove a barrier, the same issues
apply to others in similar roles. This process therefore not only helps
you to improve the performance of one employee, but can also provide
insights and information that can improve the performance of many
Ongoing communication throughout the year also allows "shifting gears"
- changing the parameters of an employee’s job when it is required.
Details of performance expectations can be altered and performance plans
can be revisited. Thus allowing a continuous feedback loop making it
possible to respond very quickly to changes in the working environment.
The final step in the performance review process is follow-through and
follow-up. That means ensuring commitments are being kept, and monitoring
progress of the implementation plans. It is easy to assume that any plans
and commitments emerging from the performance review and diagnostic
process are being followed – do not assume! If those plans do not turn
into actions, the value of the entire process is lost. However, when the
performance review is used to its maximum potential it can facilitate and
be the impetus for positive change and growth in an organisation.
Source: "Manager’s Guide to performance Reviews" – Robert