Managing Performance / Setting Goals

Management Tips: the Simple Performance Review

Ed Oakley asked:


For some reason, managers very often struggle with conducting performance reviews that yield results. Many managers actually dread conducting performance reviews. Likewise, many employees struggle to get excited for a performance review, and most tell us that they leave the review feeling like their time was wasted. When the majority of managers feel unsatisfied with performance reviews, and the bulk of people being reviewed feel that the review isn’t helpful, we have an issue that is worth discussing. One of the best management tips that a manger can learn is to keep the performance review simple in order to achieve great results.

As a manager, you have probably been there. You look at your calendar and see that a member of your team is scheduled to meet with you for a performance review. You’ve put off planning for the review because, like most managers, you dread these meetings. Perhaps you feel like you spend hours in these reviews but the results never change after the meeting. For many managers, a performance review is simply an exercise in going through the motions and checking the box in the employee file indicating that the performance review is complete.

One of the most effective ways to make the performance review more effective is to simplify the performance review. A performance review should be a time to celebrate the achievements of employees, find out what their mindset and attitudes are, and set goals that will motivate them to put all of their effort into excelling at their job. Consider the following framework the next time you conduct a performance review:

Step 1: Ask the person being reviewed to describe the things they like about their job. This is a great way to start the meeting off on a positive note and focus attention on areas of the job that make the team member happy. It also sets a tone that you as a manager are there to listen rather than just to speak.

Step 2: Ask the person being reviewed to describe their ideal role and responsibilities: Again, the key here is to ask your team member for their input rather than to share your vision of what they should be doing. You’ll get a great deal of insight as a manager regarding the goals and aspirations of the people you work with by using this simple question. You may also find areas where the team member could contribute that you hadn’t considered on your own.

Step 3: Praise the Person being Reviewed and describe your ideal role for them: By this time in the review process, you know what is important to the person you’re reviewing. Your job now is to reinforce the things you appreciate about your employee and set goals that are a combination of what your goals and the employee’s goals to achieve the desired results.

The steps maybe simple, but for the first time as a manager, you will see dramatic results after your effective performance reviews.


Create a video blog…instantly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *