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Preparing Employees for Performance Reviews


Effective employee performance reviews are a rare breed in the business world. Too often they are ineffectively implemented and simply become a one-way communication meeting where a manager spends the majority of the time talking to the employee about work.

If your last round of reviews sounded like this, you might as well create a video of the review and just make your team members watch it right?

To get the most of your employee reviews you have to create an atmosphere where a two-way dialogue takes place between the employee and the manager (who really should be operating in the role of a mentor).

Joan Henshaw, an employee performance coach recently outlined some effective ways to help employees prepare for performance reviews. You can find her original article on her blog:

Joan teaches that to get the most of your employee reviews, prepare your employees in the following ways:

  • Hold a pre-review all-hands meeting with your team and give them notice of the upcoming review and how they can prepare.
  • Provide your team with a copy of the review form that they can fill out ahead of time. Giving them time to evaluate their performance and come prepared to discuss areas where they have succeeded and areas where they can improve their performance.

Team members should fill out a performance review form prior to the performance review and answer the following questions. Managers should also prepare their own notes on the employee’s performance based on the questions in the review form and the two then discuss the individual’s current performance, areas where they are working on improving, recent successes in performance, and future areas where performance can be improved.

The following are great questions to be included in a performance review form:

1. Your Overall Performance

Please describe examples of work which demonstrates your achievement of the objectives;

  • Identifying achievements and successes
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Highlighting any barriers to performance
  • Including examples of special projects / work done ‘above and beyond’ the objectives

2. Review of Performance Objectives

Please consider;

  • Any changes facing the team or business that will require new performance objectives
  • Any performance objectives that are no longer appropriate or need amending

3. Areas for Development

Please consider any development needs you might have. These might relate to;

  • Building on your strengths
  • Addressing any areas requiring improvement
  • Meeting future challenges

4. Your Satisfaction

Please consider the following questions;

  • What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?
  • How could we ensure you maintain or improve your satisfaction?
  • Are there any other ways you and I could improve your job satisfaction?
  • Is there anything I could do; more of, less of, or differently in order to improve your job satisfaction?


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