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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Who Needs Performance Reviews? You Do

The question of the day: Who needs performance reviews? The answer isn't complicated--it’s you. And while conducting performance reviews may not be your favorite past time, they are a perfect way for your small business to grow and move forward. As such, this article will help you understand why performance reviews matter to your small business, how to prepare for them, and we’ll give you pointers on giving feedback.

Do Performance Reviews Really Matter?Who Needs Performance Reviews? You Do

In the past, you may have contemplated whether or not you should conduct performance reviews for your small business’s employees. And more than likely, you probably asked yourself if performance reviews really matter or serve any purpose. With this in mind, think about this: did you know 78 percent of U.S. workers say being recognized motivates them in their job?

Furthermore, 69 percent of workers say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. As you may know, recognition is a large part of performance reviews. So, yes, performance reviews do indeed matter to your small business. They are a great way to recognize your employees for the hard work they perform as well as a time to improve and turn shortcomings into fortes.

Preparing for Performance Reviews

Now, knowing that performance reviews do matter, you need to prepare in order to conduct them. Preparing thoroughly is one of the best things you can do to ensure your performance reviews are productive and flow smoothly. When conducted properly, your employer-employee relationship will become stronger.

So, how do you prepare?

It’s imperative for you to have notes which best reflect your employees’ performance. Ideally, these notes should be accumulated throughout the year, but if you’re conducting reviews for the first time and do not have a full year of notes, that’s okay.

Write out what your employees have been doing well, and what things they can improve upon. As you’re scribing your thoughts, keep in mind that your notes will need to be presented in a professional, friendly, and caring manner to your employees’ -- this will avoid any hard feelings. Remember, it’s important you show you care about the employee throughout the entire performance review.

Help your employees prepare as well by having them write down what they think they’re doing well and where they think they need improvement. This way, both you and your employees will be prepared for the review.

Positive Feedback - How to Give It

This is the easy part, right? Sort of. Why? You have to be careful how you give positive feedback. If you give positive feedback in a strong manner, the negative feedback may be too jarring. As such, give positive feedback in a very calm, respectful manner. You can get excited about your employees’ accomplishments -- and you should -- but keep in mind that negative feedback is just around the corner. You don’t want to go from a high-high to a low-low. Give specific positive examples to make sure your employees understand what they’re doing right so they can continue to do so.

Ask your employees what they feel they’re doing well, and provide your feedback on their comments. This way, you can add to their comments and help them to see that you agree with them. If you disagree with something, you can save it for the negative portion of the feedback.

Negative Feedback - How to Give It

It’s true, no one really enjoys giving negative feedback. However, make it a personal goal to give this portion of the feedback in the best way possible.

Start by asking your employees what they think they need to improve upon. Many times, your employees will bring up their shortcomings and you don’t have to do it. At this point, it becomes a discussion which can be built upon.

A good general rule to follow when giving negative feedback is to not give it using harsh words such as horrible, ridiculous, terrible, etc. Instead, use words like lacking, falling short, or needs improvement. Though still negative terms, they won’t register as harsh to your employee. Remember, the purpose for this feedback is to improve, not hurt your employees’ confidence. If you damage their confidence, their productivity may severely decrease.

Knowing this, once you give your employees negative feedback, ensure them you would love to help them make their weaknesses strengths. To do this, come up with a plan to become better in the areas they are lacking. Remind your employees of their strengths and tie them into a plan to improve their weaknesses. This way, they can constantly be reminded that they do indeed have strengths as well.

Conclusion

See, it isn’t that bad is it? Let’s face it, if you want your small business to really improve and become the best in the industry, you need performance reviews. And studies show that recognizing your employees does indeed increase performance. Furthermore, addressing areas with room for improvement will only help your small business become more productive.

Performance reviews don’t have to be a pain. You need them in order to grow.

Do you think you need performance reviews? Why or why not? Comment below.

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