Performance reviews

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As a business owner and employer, you invest your time, money, energy into continually growing. A big part of growth is down to having motivated employees.

One of the best ways to ensure employees are satisfied with their job is by holding employee performance reviews at least once a year. Business owners hate doing them, but they are so important.

To make your performance reviews as productive and as painless as possible, have a look at these 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.

• Start with positive. It’s important to state the employee’s strengths at the beginning of the review. 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 criticise the employee. The objective 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.

• Be consistent. Top performers should be congratulated and weak performers need to hear that their performance requires improvement.

• Address what’s important to the employee. Since job satisfaction is the most important factor affecting an employee’s attitude, an effective review should look into areas that include issues most important to that employee.

• Encourage dialogue. A good performance review requires an interactive discussion with an open agenda. Try to formulate questions that seek the employee’s ideas and input. This will help the employee feel you value his or her opinions.

• Be a good listener. Remember to be an active listener as most times feedback helps you as well.

• Discuss work/life balance. The performance review is a good opportunity to show your concern for the employee’s work/life balance, and to jointly discuss solutions to improve that balance. It’s also a good time to create a plan for the employee’s career advancement and discuss what future opportunities might exist for him or her.

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