All too often performance reviews are just a “thing” that has to happen in order to be in compliance with the company’s process. The great companies understand that performance reviews are an extremely valuable time to critically review not only the employee’s performance but also the company’s performance and mission. A productive performance review will include feedback from the employee as to how the company can make their job easier and ultimately make them more effective.

Upon hire you want to explain to a new employee how the performance review process works. You will want to discuss how often the reviews occur, what criteria is being reviewed and generally how the review is conducted. It will help to put all of this in writing in order to hand out with the on boarding packet or training manual.

Make sure the review day and time is convenient for the employee. You will want to schedule it in advance and agree on the day and time that works for both of you. Be careful to share the agenda along with the meeting invite so both parties have time to prepare and plan. If there are areas that are of concern with the employee make sure you address them during the meeting invite so they can come prepared with a thoughtful understanding along with intelligent conversation points. You do not want to blind side an employee with performance issues during the meeting as you will not get thoughtful answers and valuable feedback.

Keep the review positive. Discuss plans for production and growth not shortcomings and blame. You want to come up with a positive plan to get things back on track and make sure both sides have input in to this plan.

At the end of the meeting you want to close with reiterating the company’s focus for the year and why the focus is so important to the success and growth of the organization. It can be things like customer service, paying attention to the small details or something as simple as effective communication.

Use this time as a way to reconnect with an employee and ensure everyone is on the same page moving forward. Performance reviews can be an extremely positive fun way to push production and positive energy throughout the company!