The effectiveness of performance reviews hinges as much — if not more — on what a manager does to prepare for it.
To get the most out of performance reviews, try following these four steps to track employees’ performance and behavior:
- Write out employees’ positive and negative behaviors. Tracking both the good and the bad will help to ensure you’re giving the employee a well-balanced review.
Best Practice: Every few weeks or every month write down assignments and deadlines met or not met, any attempts to help the employee improve, any latenesses and/or absences, the employee’s responses to problems or questions, etc. (But be careful not to bring up any rumors, opinions, speculation, etc.)
- Make sure everything is dated. By dating everything you observe, it will be easier to spot patterns or trends.
- Steer away from any assumptions. Many managers run into problems when they cross the line and start making assumptions or trying to understand why employees are acting a certain way.
Safe bet: Try to avoid any personal impressions you may have about the employee that is being reviewed.
- Keep track of any trends. Once patterns start manifesting themselves, put together a separate entry and document all of these instances together as a group.