employees working

In a previous post, I’ve outlined how the annual employee review is undergoing transformation at hundreds of companies nationwide. While many of the changes to the review are deemed necessary, it’s important that employers replace the existing policy with a new system that will offer additional feedback and growth opportunities for their staff.

If you’re looking to make significant changes to your policy, I’d recommend starting small and allocating time to plan and deliver the changes to your management. Here are four ways that you, as an employer, can improve your own review system.

  1. Make Evaluations More Frequent

One of the most challenging aspects of the traditional annual employee review is that the meeting covers both the employee’s performance and his or her salary increase or bonus. For both the manager and the employee, it’s hard to talk openly about performance when your next item on the agenda is closely aligned with the issue. Instead of holding one large evaluation at the end of the year, why not employ a mid-year performance evaluation that is solely focused on the employee’s role in the company. This will help the employee and the manager have a more transparent conversation. Further, the conversation will allow more feedback and room to problem solve.

  1. Communicate Early

If you’re planning to meet with your employee twice a year, why not add an additional meeting to the rotation: the initial review. This review can be tremendously helpful for new employees to hear how their job duties directly relate to the goals of the company. By taking time at the beginning of the year to educate your employee on why his or her role is significant and what he or she can do to succeed, can eliminate anxiety and confusion on the new employee’s behalf. The bonus to the initial review is that you can set targets or goals with the employee. It’s much easier to track a goal mid-year once you’ve already settled on one at the start.

  1. Create a Targeted Development Plan Together

During your initial meeting, it can be a good idea to help set two goals together. The first goal should be an objective set by the employee. Encourage your employee to think about ways he or she would like to improve or grow. The second goal should be assigned by you. Take time to reflect on the employee’s role in the company and his or her abilities. Are there special skills you’d like a member of your team to possess? Do your employee seem to be naturally gifted to a particular area of expertise? Allow this goal to help both the employee and the company. In time, as you track the progress of these goals, you’ll witness the growth of your employee and his or her role at the company.

  1. Be Honest

The last tip on the list is strive for authentic and honest feedback throughout all stages of the review. While new managers might be tempted to succumb to a more flattering review to avoid a difficult conversation, you must keep an honest attitude for each of your employees. The easiest way to adopt this mindset is to rationalize the concept of this idea. By being honest and providing your employee with constructive criticism, you’re helping the individual grow. Without your help, he or she be be immune this growth, which will stunt his or her development at your company and in the future.

Reviewing your annual employee review may seem like a daunting task, however, there are simple changes you can make that will better your employees, your workplace, and its culture. Contact me if you’d like to discuss additional ways to re-shape this process at your company.

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