Performance Reviews – Tips & Guidance

Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, Sharon Armstrong & Associates, for providing us the following insights about performance management.

The key to evaluating an employee’s performance is to review the objectives and key performance factors, and the results or outcomes in each of these areas. When the supervisor and employee are clear on the expectations of performance, they will be able to easily determine whether the employee achieved, exceeded, or did not achieve the performance expectations based on the recorded results or outcomes.

Guidance for Writing Results

For Objectives: Review the performance documentation and outcome results of the objective and identify the information that objectively demonstrates the accomplishment of that objective. When writing results, provide:

· Outcome results of the accomplishment of each objective and specific examples of how the employee achieved, exceeded, or did not achieve expectations; and

· Specific examples of how the employee achieved, exceeded, or did not achieve the performance standards for each objective.

For Performance Factors: The best measures for determining performance for the key performance factors are observable skill applications and/or behaviors and their specific outcomes. When writing the results for each performance factor, describe:

· A situation that required the employee to demonstrate the specific skill or behavior required of the performance factor.

· The action that the employee took, or the behavior that the employee exhibited, in this situation.

· The specific result or outcome of the situation.

· Specific examples of how the employee achieved, exceeded, or did not achieve the expectations of each performance factor.

Performance Management Tips

Below is a list of actions managers can take in order to manage employee performance effectively.

· Use a balanced approach of talking and listening (often a matter of judgment, experience, and knowledge of the needs of the employee).

· Avoid being a micro-manager. Discuss with the employee when and how performance might best be monitored.

· Involve the employee directly to help build commitment to his/her work and the performance management process. Emphasize employee responsibility and ownership of his/her work.

· Plan for specific milestones in reviewing the employee’s progress, which are specific, rational, and well understood.

· Set aside a quiet place and enough time for performance discussions.

· Ask the employee what assistance is needed from you to help accomplish his/her objectives.

· Be specific about next steps after performance discussions.

Sharon Armstrong, PHR, CMF
Author of "The Essential Performance Review Handbook"


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