Improve Productivity with Performance Reviews (Part One of Two-Part Series)

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How to Execute a Good Performance Review

Entrepreneur.com defines performance review as “An analysis of an employee’s work habits undertaken at a fixed point in time to determine the degree to which stated objectives and expectations have been reached.”   The truth is, performance reviews themselves have been rating low on the scale of effectiveness lately.   That’s not to say that you should avoid them altogether, but if you choose to do them, you must ensure that they’re executed in such a way as to be helpful to both employer and employee.  Here are 4 tips that will help:

Make them more frequent and less formal. A New York Times Review blog contemplates the toxic nature of performance reviews while an AllBusiness.com article cautions employers to perform them at their own risk.  Obviously, care must be taken to ensure that performance reviews don’t unnecessarily stress employees and hinder morale.  One suggestion is to make them more frequent and less formal.

Write evaluations from scratch. This advice is taken from Jon Picoult’s Forbes article entitled “How to Do Performance Reviews Right.”  He explains, “Take the time to reflect on each employee’s performance and thoughtfully compose constructive comments for each review.”  Employees value the feedback they receive from these reviews, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.  In order to have something substantial to write, keep records of employee behaviors, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses throughout the year.  That way your feedback is specific and covers a significant period of time.

Construct legal and standard performance review forms. The feedback you give employees should consistently refer to a standard form.  In fact, it’s helpful if employees have access to these forms prior to the review.  Also ensure that the measures you’re using and the forms themselves are legal.

Request employee input. It’s important that you ensure employees feel comfortable, challenged and valued.  Part of the performance review should allow individuals to revise their job descriptions to better match their duties, craft their own performance goals and communicate any frustrations they may have.  It’s important that you use this time to foster two-way communication between yourself and your employees.

While performance reviews may have recently gotten a bad rap, they are still an effective method of assessing employee performance and encouraging improvement while acknowledging accomplishments.  Take the time to properly prepare for stellar performance reviews this year.

In the Black: Build a More Profitable Practice in 2011!

There are many ways to increase your productivity (and profitability), and holding regular performance reviews is only one of them.  If you’re looking for additional strategies to enhance your practice, you’ll want to read In the Black: 9 Principles to Make Your Business Profitable, written by Allen Bostrom, president of Universal Accounting Center.  This book helps small business owners like you succeed by effectively managing the three key functions of business: marketing, production, and accounting.  If you’re looking to make 2011 a more profitable year for your business, order the book to read 9 tried and true principles that you can apply immediately!  For less than $20, you can take the necessary steps to build a more lucrative practice today.

Resources

–. “Performance Reviews.” Entrepreneur.com

Linn, Amy.  “Boost Performance with Performance Reviews.” SmallBusinessReview.com

Parker-Pope, Tara.  “Time to Review Workplace Reviews?” 17 May 2010 New York Times Health Blogs

Pekala, Nancy.  “Employee Reviews – Perform at Your Own Risk.” 1 September 2000 AllBusiness.com

Picoult, Jon.  “How to Do Performance Reviews Right.” 27 July 2009  Forbes.com

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