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Check out our weekly blog posts and see the latest news and discussions happening in the HR world of business.

Pro Tips: How to improve your annual review process

Most employees will tell you that the thought of their annual performance review makes their stomachs turn and even 45 percent of HR execs admit that they aren’t necessarily an accurate appraisal of an employee’s work. This is because often times, these reviews end up focusing on negative traits as opposed to serving as a chance to praise employee performance and motivate them further.

With that in mind, there are ways that the performance review process can be revised so as to be beneficial to both the employee and your organization as a whole:

Provide consistent feedback through the year:
The annual review should be an opportunity to reflect on the year, but it shouldn’t be the only time that an employee receives feedback about their job performance. Instead, the employee should be coached throughout the year on what’s working and where changes need to be made – this way, the annual conversation can be more productive (since you aren’t rehashing a years’ worth of issues) and the employee won’t be caught off guard if they have been doing something incorrectly for a full year!

Provide useful, constructive criticism:
No one likes to hear that they are falling down on the job, but the reality is that not every employee can be a superstar. You can overcome this issue by sharing positive feedback with the negative (since sharing positive news stimulates the reward centers in the brain so that the worker is more receptive to hearing more about where they could improve.) Further, when you introduce those “areas to work on,” make sure they are being discussed in a manner in which you provide specific directions and solutions.

Have employees review themselves:
When it comes to reflecting on a year of work – especially if the person performing the review oversees a large amount of employees – it can be beneficial to have employees list out their accomplishments for the year and their own goals prior to the review meeting. This way, the person performing the review can take time during the meeting to not only provide the appropriate recognition for the worker, but also develop plans for helping the employee achieve their new goals.

Recognize a job well done

However your company recognizes a good job – be it a shout out during a meeting, a certificate of achievement, or monetary reward – be sure that that recognition is given within a short period of time of the exceptional performance. That way, the employee doesn’t wonder if their good deed was overlooked and will motivate them to keep improving their performance for further recognition. Further, don’t shy away from the good ol’ fashioned bonus! FastCompany.com notes that “if a member of your team has made an outstanding contribution to the company that saves time and money, increases profits and productivity, or improves the working conditions in the office, consider awarding them a one-time bonus.” As they note, “why shouldn’t you want to encourage the best performance possible, and pay fairly for that performance?”

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