Conducting Good Annual Reviews

Annual performance reviews (aka employee appraisals) can be a stressful/frustrating time of the year for managers. For some they can be about as much fun as having teeth pulled, but the fact is that most employees actually dread them as well, regardless of if they have performed or not. Whether you like doing annual performance reviews or not, I have yet to come across an organisation that doesn’t have them!

Here is a link to an interesting and humorous blog I found. Definately worth a read if you have the time.

Anyway, you have to do the reviews and your HR department have provided you with the Company’s review format to follow. But just remember, reviews are meant to be a two way process and how you conduct a review could have significant impact on the performance and attitude of staff, post review. You should be providing constructive feedback to employees during their review; it is not the time to conduct any form of discipline.

Think about salary increases and promotions

As well as performance, you will also need to put some thought into salary increases and promotions, because annual reviews are the time and place they are expected. There should be no surprises or shocks in reviews; if you are not planning on giving any increase in salary or promotion when your employee is expecting one, you should recognise that this will possibly leave them feeling de-motivated. Even raises/promotion that do not meet expectations could have the same negative impact. If you want to retain these members of staff, how you manage the situation is integral, as they might think about moving on if they feel under-valued and un-appreciated. Tim Prosser wrote this blog on how annual performances can do more harm than good – also worth a read!

If conducted correctly however, reviews can have a completely positive impact and can be very motivating. Therefore, putting aside the time to prepare properly for annual reviews is imperative for any manager and organisation. Think carefully about the actual performance of your staff over the past 12 months and make sure you have all your facts and figures ready. This should help you avoid any unnecessary surprises that you are un-prepared for.

If you’ve had any noteworthy reviews over the years, good, bad or terrible, please leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!