Performance Review

Performance Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide

Performance Appraisals are for most employees a nerve-racking experience. However, these simple processes, if done well, could make your business vastly more streamlined and effective not to mention your employees happier in their work environment. For most people, the experience of performance reviews might not have been a good one, but it is the only way of gauging the abilities of your staff without compromising any business projects.

Your business is made up of employees, they might be many or few, but they are the reason why your business makes money. The only way to understand whether your employees are happy and if they are performing at their best is to do a regular review of their performance in the workplace. The process of these reviews could encourage and motivate your staff, or it could be the reason for your downfall.

A well thought out performance review process will not only encourage your staff but will give you vital insight into the business environment and culture that could make future recruitment and promotion a far more organic process. With the right motivation and understanding of your staff, you as a business owner can make more informed decisions about placements and department resources. The Human Resources in your business, or your staff, is how your business will survive any economic environment. Making sure they are operating at their best at all times is in your business's best interest and will make your employees more effective in their daily tasks.

What are Performance Reviews?

Performance Appraisals or Reviews are being used in business more every day to determine the strength of the workforce and to identify areas that should be worked on in the future. The process has evolved to be a more informal one due to the evolution of management styles in the business world. In the past, the process might have induced feelings of apprehension or dread with employees and managers alike, but currently, business owners have access to Performance Review templates that make the job far easier. Using a professionally designed employee appraisal form, you are able to motivate your staff to improve their performance without the past negative interpretations associated with Performance Reviews. The review is a vital Human Resource function and will not only get your staff working better but will certainly help develop a better employee profile for future applicants.

How to Make a Performance Review Work for Your Company

An ineffective performance review template process makes all participants dread the process; both must take time from their busy day to discuss past failures and successes. In many cases, it seems only the failures are highlighted in these sessions. Over time, the industry has learned that Performance Reviews that form part of the working process make for better information sharing because employees don’t feel like they are being confronted and managers don’t experience any animosity during the reviews. By using the correct review templates as well as creating a productive atmosphere, all parties concerned will be more interactive and your business will be better for it.

Why are Performance Reviews Important?

To get the best out of any process, especially Performance Appraisals, you need to know how to manage the process for the ultimate productivity and cohesion. To understand this, you need to know what a Great Performance Review system will achieve in your business so that you can design your future sessions for excellence.

  • Cohesion and Employee-Business Connection - Often employees feel left out of the “business-loop” and they become less inclined to perform at their best because they do not understand how their performance impacts the business. A well-executed performance evaluation template process will connect your employees' work regardless of where they fit in the business organogram. It will also give them a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses without inducing negative feelings and the team will be more productive overall.
  • Morale and Employee Retention - Goal orientated individuals have always performed better than aimless people, and so your employees will be more motivated when they have clearly defined goals and performance thresholds. When your review assists your employees to identify and plan for upliftment areas, your business will benefit from the improved culture and individual performance increases. Your staff will be happier and more positive about their environment which will add to the improvement of your business.
  • Company Standards and Values - A great review process will help align your employees’ standards and values with the standards and values of your business. The alignment of these critical aspects of your business and staff is obviously beneficial but with an effective performance review template system, you get the time to work on the alignment rather than just hoping that it happens.
  • Aligned Workforce - The review process also allows for the alignment of goals between business and employee. Helping the employee connect their goals to company goals gives them extra motivation to achieve these goals and will help the manager to adjust their management style to better motivate employees by interacting at the goal level to keep the momentum going. In simple terms, it helps you devise the best way to motivate each and every employee based on their contribution and personal goals as seen from the business perspective.
  • Honest and Clear Feedback - Performance Reviews allow your staff to get and give honest feedback to their management on their performance and interaction with management. So often senior executives don’t get to interact with all staff, but with an effective review system, you allow your employees to give clear and honest feedback about the structure and interaction with all management staff. The function of a review system is to give the space for honest interaction without the pressures of the work environment.
  • Develop a Caring Business Environment - When applied correctly, your performance review system will show your employees that you truly care for them personally and for their career. They will be more committed to working harder and better within an environment of caring positive critique than in any other environment.
What Are the Aspects of an Effective Performance Review Process?

Irrespective of your industry or business focus, an effective performance appraisal template process must include certain aspects to deliver all the benefits possible to your business. These aspects fall into two major categories:

  • General Interaction and Soft-Skills (Basic Areas)
  • Job and Company Specific Competencies (Focus Areas)

The combination of these critical areas will allow your management staff to build a strong workforce and identify areas where more attention should be spent to improve.

By using a performance review template, you will be able to address all these critical areas without having to go through the development process. If you are in the process of hiring new staff, you can also complete an applicant appraisal form to evaluate the candidate’s suitability for the job.

Basic Areas

All the performance review templates that you will find in the Human Resources section of Business-in-a-Box are designed around the understanding that the following interpersonal skills should be part of the process:

  • Communication - Self-communication and interpersonal communication;
  • Teamwork - Becoming a functional part of the immediate team and the company team;
  • Solution Based - Identifying problem areas and working together to find effective solutions to implement;
  • Quality and Excellence - Building a culture of constant improvement and increased quality;
  • Reliability and Presence - The development of punctual and reliable employees and management;
  • Goal Orientation and Achievement - Foster a mindset focused on the achievement of goals both personal and business;
Company Focus Areas

As these areas are company-specific, you need to make sure that your Performance Review addresses these areas in the right way so that you get the maximum input and output from these areas of review. The most effective manner to do this is by using clear templates to guide your managers through the process so that they can always keep your staff on-the-boil.

The best way to do this is by:

  • Constant Informal Feedback - Although you have the actual review process maybe once or twice a year, you should not limit the feedback to once or twice a year. By providing your staff with constant feedback on their performance, they can gain more from the review process. Your staff will benefit from the constant enforcement of their abilities and achievements which will breed an environment of growth and inspiration.
  • Honest Interaction - The old saying of doing unto others as you would like to be done to you is very apt in this regard. When dealing with your staff during performance reviews you should be honest and clear about achievements and weaknesses, without communicating detrimentally. Honesty is key and gentle honesty is crucial.
  • Face-to-Face Meetings - Effective performance reviews must be conducted face-to-face so that you and your employee can get to the heart of whatever issues and problems there might be. It is also always better to encourage staff personally with their personal and career growth so that they understand that you are committed to them as they are to you.
  • Work-Related Situations - When using examples demonstrate growth opportunities it is best to use relevant work-related situations during the performance review. This will lend perspective and clear context to the issues at hand and will help build your team’s focus on being better at their respective positions.
  • Positive Productive Tone - Performance reviews should not be unclear, meaning that throughout the process you should communicate in a tone of upliftment and positive feedback. This will especially be crucial where your employee has not performed as well as they should have. You should have them leave the review session being refocused on the development areas and have a clear understanding of what is required. This will make your employees more able to address focus areas rather than be left in the dark about what they need to do.
  • Positive Language - Using the correct language during the review must be second nature. Often, we lose the effect of the message by using the incorrect language. That is why each template from Business-in-a-Box is designed to deliver its message in the best possible way. With the correct language, you can encourage and motivate even the most underperforming staff member to greatness.

By using these easy-to-use templates, you can manage and motivate your entire company with powerful Performance reviews that will encourage them to work better faster and stay for longer. Great companies have excellent systems and processes not only in their respective manufacturing and service delivery but in evaluating their staff and work performance. Business-in-a-Box has more than 2000 business templates that will help you improve your business regardless of sector or industry. The Performance Review templates have all been designed and formulated by business experts, so you can trust their quality and legitimacy. Sign up to obtain full access to all these templates and get your staff performing better today.

2,000+ Templates & Tools to Help You Start, Run & Grow Your Business

Created by lawyers & experts
Professional-looking formatting
Simply fill-in-the-blanks & print
100% customizable documents
Compatible with all office suites
Export to PDF and .doc
Crush Your Business Goals With The Business‑in‑a‑Box Toolkit
Business‑in‑a‑Box templates are used by over 250,000 companies in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and 190 countries worldwide.