Friday, June 17, 2005

Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Most employers and employees dread performance reviews, but done correctly, they can prevent small problems from becoming big ones. Jane Applegate, author of "The Entrepreneur's Desk Reference" and "201 Great Ideas for your Small Business," offers the following tips:
* Consider conducting quarterly, rather than annual, reviews of your employees.
* Begin by asking the employee to evaluate himself. Most people will own up to their shortcomings when questioned with respect.
* Heap on the praise before you present your written evaluation. If the employee is hardworking, rarely absent, and never late, mention those qualities up front.
* Be as specific as possible about areas needing improvement. Don't just say, "It's your attitude." Point out calmly that not landing that huge new account means that there will be smaller pay increases.
* Give employees time to explain exactly the circumstances of situations you bring to their attention, and explore what could have been done differently. Get the facts rather than launching into criticism. Avoid a tirade, at all costs.
* End the conversation by making a list of very specific changes that need to be made. Set deadlines for improvement, and make it clear you plan to hold the person accountable.
Source: Jane Applegate, "The Entrepreneur's Desk Reference"

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