Year-end reviews are vital for analyzing the success of your company. They can be occasions to motivate your employees and to make sure that company goals are being met. Follow these tips to make the most out of these company meetings.
1. Discuss the year’s performance and goals
Don’t develop a year-end review in a vacuum. The original job posting provides a set of core competencies and expectations. Unless the job has changed significantly in the past year, the performance review should be linked to the competencies and expectations in the posting.
If the employee was hired to develop social media, for example, her tasks should have been linked to that development, and your discussions should be about her performance on those tasks.
2. Provide specific examples
Year-end reviews can be occasions both to tell employees they’re doing a good job and asking for improvement going forward. In both cases, document your feedback with specific examples. Examples from work they’ve completed will help employees fully understand what they are doing right, so they can continue it! Plus, they will more readily understand what needs improvement and how to improve it.
If you are asking for improvement, set specific examples of what you want to see, and place a time frame on it. If you need to see fewer mistakes in the documentation, for instance, specify a percentage and say they will be reviewed again in three months’ time. This not only helps the employee know what to do but protects the company from an employee feeling like they were not treated fairly.
3. Link actions to performance
If your company ties raises and promotions to year-end reviews, be sure to link your comments on performance to actions. If your employee did a great job, for example, provide a raise if the company’s position allows it. (And if not, explain why not, such as the company isn’t doing more than minimal raises this year.)
Conversely, if an employee needs to improve, don’t give them the highest raise possible. The message may not be received, because the employee will naturally be responding both to the implicit praise in a raise and to your comments.
If an employee’s need for improvement could lead to termination if the improvement is not satisfactory, be sure to tell them so. There’s no need to be threatening, but the employee needs to know possible scenarios. One caution: don’t let the year-end review be your only site of feedback for an underperforming employee. As soon as it becomes clear, they need improvement, talk to them frankly. Develop a performance plan, with end goals and a time frame. A sudden termination could lead the employee to challenge the process and the fairness of the decision.
Barracuda Consulting Can Help with Team Building and Risk Management
Year-end reviews offer an excellent opportunity to foster your team building by rewarding top-notch employees. They also provide an opportunity for risk management as you set underperforming employees on the path to improvement or termination.
Barracuda Consulting can help with both these goals and provide advice on best practices in year-end reviews. Contact our leading consultants today for more information.