Performance Reviews-A Tool To Improve Staff Performance

It is that time of year when budgets and project plans have to be submitted and also performance reviews. As managers we have to deal with employee performance reviews for our staff.

Let’s face facts, not everyone on your team is a superstar. And from a Human Resource’s department perspective every employee can improve (no one is a 9 or a 10). Evaluating your employee’s performance isn’t easy, but it can be an invaluable tool to get performance up to a level that is acceptable.

Here is an example.

A new manager just hired two new staff to be part of her team. Both are qualified, however they were not “pulling their weight” to meet critical deadlines. This frustrated the manager because as the department head, she has to answer for the overall success of her department. It got to a point where she was contemplating terminating both of them.

When she told me her situation I asked if she had set clear performance expectations for the department’s success? She answered no.

Here was my advice to her:

  1. Set performance expectations for the department’s success. Make it clear that this is what is required for us to succeed.
  2. Use these expectations to help employees develop accountable, productive, meaningful, participatory teamwork.
  3. Quantify your employee’s performance level and not their personality traits. For example, you can measure the number of times an employee has been late to work, their absenteeism rate, the number of projects completed successfully, the number of coworker complaints received, the number of goals met.
  4. Keep your performance reviews as objective as possible. Be candid about the areas of deficiency and the steps necessary to achieve acceptable performance. Do this frequently. Most managers feel they can only review once a year. Performance reviews need to occur constantly throughout the year in order to correct problems early on. Remember it is better to be proactive than reactive.

Use the performance review as a tool in your manager’s arsenal to improve employee performance. Doing so can effectively improve underperforming staff and lead to overall team success.


One thought on “Performance Reviews-A Tool To Improve Staff Performance

  1. Good advice, Arun. Another pitfall that many of us face is over-estimating the value of a particular employee. One way to address this is to have team evaluations–I’ve used this successfully in a number of organizations. Too complicated to go into here, but it essentially gets multiple perspectives on the performance of an employee, similiar to a 360 degree eval. Quite effective.

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