As a manager, conducting quarterly performance reviews for employees on your team may be one of your least favorite tasks. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to become better at this process rather than dread delivering feedback to your staff that may not always be positive. The most important part of the performance review process is planning ahead to ensure employees are aware of expectations so there are no surprises down the road. Following these tips can ease the performance review process for you and your employees:

Set Goals and Expectations Early

At the beginning of the year, you should immediately set goals and expectations for your entire them. Then, you should meet separately with each employee to determine individual performance goals. This helps to ensure that both you and your employees have a mutual understanding of organizational goals for the year and the role of each employee in meeting these goals.

Provide Regular Feedback

Rather than save all of your feedback for a quarterly review, it helps to provide employees with informal feedback throughout the year, leading up to their formal evaluations. Doing this will allow employees to correct any wrongdoings and make them more comfortable to ask questions on the job. This practices also helps to address issues right away, and prevent them from potentially becoming larger concerns.

Give Praise when Possible

During the times when you have to provide some constructive criticism, make a point to deliver your feedback with the “sandwich effect.” This means opening and closing a conversation with a piece of positive feedback, and addressing the negative piece of feedback within the middle of the conversation. Offering praise whenever possible helps to deliver constructive criticism in a way that provides encouragement and fosters a culture of empowerment among your team.

Though performance reviews many not the most enjoyable or satisfying part of your job, they can present a great opportunity to build stronger relationships with your team. They are also an integral part of fostering employee growth and improving the performance of your workforce.

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