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Transforming Your Performance Reviews into Goal Setting

It's the most wonderful time of the year – reviews! As we rapidly approach the end of the year, companies and employees are prepping for reviews and there has been a shift as to what these reviews should look like. Should they be full of criticism and explaining everything that needs to be done better? Or should it be focused on goal setting? Most anyone would tell you that they rather be talked with than talked to, and goal setting is a healthy way to open up conversation for what can be done better, what has been done well, and what should be done moving forward.

First of all, the performance review should not be a surprise attack on the employee of things they did wrong. Typically, the review shouldn't be the first time the employee is hearing these critiques. It should rather be a check-in of something that has already been discussed before. However, the ultimate goal of this performance review is to set clear, achievable, and measurable goals for the employee. According to studies, 83% of the population doesn't have/make goals. Goals lead to increased motivation and intentionally laying out goals is beneficial to the productivity of your employee and company.

So, what is the most effective way to conduct a performance review? According to the Harvard Business Review, it is important to:

  • Be clear
  • Be concise
  • Be creative
These are excellent ways to help you conduct a successful review. The overarching concept is that the future is more important than the past. It's certainly vital to learn from the past, but it's destructive to live there. As you prepare for reviews, try to focus on what's ahead, and what that employee can do to better reach both their personal goals and company goals. Clear communication is key and is great for making the employee feel more involved.

When goals are created within the review process, it is important to document them. That way, when the next review comes around, you and your employee can accurately assess if their previous goals were met. You can use this as a basis to move forward with new goals. This doesn't just benefit the company but will ultimately help the employee to express what they enjoy doing the most and what they want to learn.

Flip the Script

After you complete the review, this is the perfect opportunity to gather feedback on your own performance as a supervisor. Ask them questions like:

  • Can you share an example of a time when I motivated you effectively? What are the best motivators for the coming year?
  • Do you feel I'm passionate enough about my work? 
  • Do you think I listen well?
  • In what ways do I communicate well? How can I communicate better? 
  • What can I do to be a better leader?

This is an excellent way to make employees feel that they are valued and heard. Don't be afraid to put yourself in your employee's shoes!

For more tips like these, check out our blog on 5 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation!

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