You’ve invested your time, your money, and all your energy into building your company. But no company can function for very long without a team of productive employees supporting it. It’s important not only that your employees feel appreciated, but also that they feel they’re progressing steadily in their careers.
One of the best ways to ensure this level of job satisfaction is by holding employee performance reviews at least once a year. However, as essential as these reviews can be for the growth of the company and the well-being of its employees, many small business owners remain uncomfortable with the entire process.
To make your performance reviews as productive and as painless as possible, follow these tried-and-true suggestions:
- Be prepared. First of all, make sure you are fully prepared before sitting down with the employee. Decide both what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
- Lead with the positive. It’s important to reaffirm the employee’s strengths at the beginning of the review. Since job security is the number one concern of most people, the performance review is a good time to tell an employee how much you value their contributions to your business.
- Don’t be confrontational. It’s also important not to criticize the employee in general terms. The goal is to evaluate job performance and not the person. A performance review that turns into a gripe session misses the opportunity to raise employee morale.
- Keep it real. Human resource professionals recommend that you avoid detailed reviews that are too complicated and mechanistic, which can leave the employee feeling like a drone rather than a human being.