Tips for Successfully Navigating the Employee Review

employee reviewFor many companies, the end of the year heralds the arrival of the annual employee review. While performance reviews often carry an aura of dread both for the employer and the employee, they don’t have to sabotage your morale. By planning your approach and utilizing the assistance of your PEO, you can get more benefit out of your employee reviews while giving your employees the tools they need to grow professionally in the coming year.

How to Make the Most of the Performance Review

Performance reviews often diminish into a series of checked boxes and guesswork. In order to provide beneficial feedback and effectively communicate goals for the coming year, it’s important to plan what you’ll say ahead of time.

  • Make expectations clear—If the employee doesn’t understand the specifics of the position, he or she will not be able to execute them effectively. Expectations should be communicated regularly using employee handbooks, specific job descriptions, and regular communication from managers. Your PEO can help you create information and manage distribution of handbooks and manuals in order to keep your employees up to date on what you expect of them.

  • Get feedback from others—Before the review, get feedback from others who interact with the employee regularly including clients, coworkers, and department managers. Take note of both successes and failures, and ask how the employee interacts with others as well as how he or she could develop to become a better employee. If you use a PEO, you will have easy access to important data such as time records, performance records, and development opportunities. Sophisticated reports and analytics can give you the data you need to compare each employee with his or her peers.

  • Create a list of goals - It’s not enough simply to review the past year. Each review should end with some specific goals for the next year as well. Ask the employee how he or she plans to ensure success for the next business year. What will be accomplished and how? Your PEO can also help you develop, communicate, and track goals in order to keep employees on track with specific objectives.

What Else Can Your PEO Do to Help?

A PEO can help you record and track information that will make the performance review much easier. Data concerning time records, goal implementation, communication, and employee achievements can help you determine which employees are top performers and which ones could benefit from additional counseling or goal management. Your PEO can assist in all of the following ways:

  • Identify weaknesses in the organization—Your PEO can point out weaknesses in your communication structure, goal management processes, compensation management, reporting mechanisms, and training initiatives. Using this information, they can help you shore up those weaknesses to close gaps between your expectations and your employees’ interpretation of those expectations.

  • Create more efficient communication—It’s one thing to have specific goals; it’s another to communicate those goals effectively. Rather than focusing exclusively on individual functions and performance, managers can use data from the PEO to communicate broader organizational goals. When your PEO understand the strategy of your organization, they can offer opportunities to easily distribute information about goals and objectives using software systems that will track data and employee performance.

  • Make reviews easier—Whether you need to review a comprehensive skill library to help you plan your evaluation or you need to look at an individual employee’s contributions for the purpose of performance-based pay initiatives, your PEO can give you the tools you need to make the evaluation process easier. Business software solutions can track data and generate reports instantly while also making communication easier and more effective. Your PEO can help you identify your top employees and create performance rewards that will help motivate your employees to achieve company goals.

  • Set goals for the coming year—Your PEO may offer a program that includes pre-loaded organization smart goals. You can utilize these goals to keep your employees motivated to work toward company objectives. The PEO can also communicate and track organization goals based on categories, teams, or individuals.

The end of the year is approaching quickly, but there’s no reason to let performance reviews diminish your holiday cheer. By utilizing the tools available to you from your PEO and planning your approach to each review ahead of time, you can make the most of your employee evaluations while preparing for a prosperous new year.