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Employee Performance - Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews: A Key Part of Evaluating Employee Performance

All businesses, both large and small, need performance reviews. Performance reviews are a way for a small business to grow and move forward. This section is designed to help small business owners understand why performance reviews matter, how to prepare for them, and how to conduct them.PerformanceReview

Do Performance Reviews Really Matter? 

Many small business owners contemplate whether or not they should conduct performance reviews for their small business’s employees. And while many employers aren’t sure if performance reviews matter, 78 percent of U.S. workers say being recognized motivates them in their job.

Furthermore, 69 percent of workers say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Recognition is a large part of performance reviews. So, yes, performance reviews do indeed matter to small businesses. They are a great way to recognize employees for the hard work they perform as well as a time to improve and turn shortcomings into fortes.

Preparing for Performance Reviews

It is important to prepare in order to conduct them performance reviews. Preparing thoroughly is one of the best things to do in order to ensure performance reviews are productive and flow smoothly. When conducted properly, employer-employee relationships will become stronger.

How should employers prepare?

It’s imperative to have notes closeby which best reflect the employees’ performance. Ideally, these notes should be accumulated throughout the year, but if reviews are being conducted for the first time and an employer does not have a full year of notes, that’s okay.

Small business owners should write out what their employees have been doing well, and what things they can improve upon. Additionally, employers need to  keep in mind that their notes will need to be presented in a professional, friendly, and caring manner to their employees -- this will avoid any hard feelings. It’s important for employers to show they care about the employee throughout the entire performance review.

Employees should prepare as well by writing down what they think they’re doing well and where they think they need improvement.

Positive Feedback - How to Give It

Small business owners have to be careful how they give positive feedback. If positive feedback is given in a strong manner, the negative feedback may be too jarring. As such, give positive feedback in a very calm, respectful manner. Employers can get excited about their employees’ accomplishments -- and they should -- but it’s important to keep in mind that negative feedback is just around the corner. Small business owners shouldn’t go from a high-high to a low-low. They should give specific positive examples to make sure their employees understand what they’re doing right so they can continue to do so.

Employees should be asked what they feel they’re doing well, and be provided feedback on their comments. This way, the employer can add to their comments and help them to see that they agree with them. When disagreeing with something, Employers should save it for the negative portion of the feedback.

Negative Feedback - How to Give It

No one really enjoys giving negative feedback. However, it should be a personal goal to give this portion of the feedback in the best way possible.

The first step is to ask employees what they think they need to improve upon. Many times, they will bring up their shortcomings. At this point, it becomes a discussion which can be built upon.

A good general rule to follow when giving negative feedback is to not give it using harsh words such as horrible, ridiculous, terrible, etc. Instead, use words like lacking, falling short, or needs improvement. Though still negative terms, they won’t register as harsh to the employee.

The purpose for this feedback is to improve, not hurt employees’ confidence. Damaging their confidence, may result in decreased productivity.

Knowing this, after giving negative feedback, it’s important for employers to ensure employees they would love to help them make their weaknesses strengths. To do this, employers can come up with a plan to become better in the areas they are lacking. They should remind their employees of their strengths and tie them into a plan to improve their weaknesses. This way, they can constantly be reminded that they do indeed have strengths as well.

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