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Employee reviews should be an enlightening meeting for both parties involved. Employee reviews, sometimes called staff appraisals, should not be intimidating for either the employee or the employer. However, for a lot of people, that is exactly how they are viewed. The most common mistake made when conducting an employee review is the time schedule.
The time schedule to keep in mind takes place before and during the review. How many times a year you conduct reviews will play an important factor. Many companies have no set time scale. Employees sometimes find an email popping into their inbox informing them that the current week will be an employee performance review week.
To optimize the benefits that can be gained from employee reviews, set aside a specific time each year when reviews will be held. This way, employees will not be hit with the sudden fear of a review later in the week. You will also give employees time to prepare adequately for the review.
Next, decide how many times a year you wish the employee reviews to take place. Some companies review only once a year, and for some large companies, this is all the time that can be afforded. However, many companies conduct mini, informal employee reviews once or twice a year before the set employee review date. This has the benefit of cutting down on the time of the formal review. Some reviews that take place once a year have been known to last for up to two hours, as both parties have a lot to say.
Mini employee reviews also give managers or human resources a chance to get to know the staff better. They also show that management cares about the viewpoints of the employees and takes them seriously. Employee reviews are not just a place to negotiate salaries. There should be discussions regarding work conditions, future prospects within the company and any problems that appear to either party.
Once the time scales have been decided upon, the next step is to make a list of points to be brought up at the review. These should not be limited to points made by the person conducting the review. Employees should be given the chance to self-assess. The self-assessment can be given to the manager before the review. This allows for time to research any points that the employee wishes to be covered in greater depth.
Do not make the list of questions involved in the employee reviews too in-depth. Many managers try to cover everything in one review. This is why mini reviews are helpful. Too much time spent on one point can lead the employee review in the wrong direction and can take up too much time.
There are many software packages available to managers that cover the various viewpoints. The software can also act as a template on which to keep employee review records.
Above all, keep the review semi informal. There should be no intimidation involved on either side. This way, the review will be a beneficial and even an enjoyable time. The importance of ongoing reviews cannot be stressed enough. If a good working relationship is to be built up between employee and employer, ongoing employee reviews are a must.
Retaliatory reviews are the worst. Thank goodness it's never happened to me, but I remember when a co-worker, who eventually was diagnosed with a terminal illness, missed work and couldn't do an assignment, and the department head made her supervisor do this "review" that was horrible. I found her in the bathroom sobbing. She died about six months later. I always hoped that department head felt searing guilt about what he did to her.
Her parents actually threatened to sue the company because she was terminated, and her health insurance along with it. They settled out of court, not surprisingly.
I remember he did that to another co-worker who was having some family problems and she just quit. One of these days, he is going to have to answer for what he did to innocent people.
Reviews should always be conducted in strict confidentiality. I have worked with a company where a supervisor didn't exactly stay quiet about how someone's review went. You know, "Well, after the review you got, you think you'd work harder!" That kind of thing. Fortunately for everyone, that supervisor retired.
My company has a checklist of traits or attributes like, "Reliability," etc., and the supervisor checks "good," "poor," "Outstanding," etc. Then, he or she does a more in-depth comment on the form and allows the employee to read it. They discuss it and the employee and supervisor sign the form and it's filed in the employee's personnel record. And that's that. My company does yearly reviews.
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