Why Employee Performance Reviews Are Important
There's been a trend away from formal employee reviews with the long documents and the metrics. And I understand that - it can be a pain and it seems weird to do in a small office. BUT - it is actually critical that you have a performance review system in place. Even if your team is just you and one employee! It can definitely be less formal and more custom to you and your company. You could meet quarterly or every six months to review how things are going and make it an informal conversation with some typed notes. But you should definitely have something in place! Here are my top reasons for WHY this is so important!
Everyone wants to understand what's expected of them in their job, right?! And a regular review process lets you go over that with your employees. It's a great time to tweak any job descriptions, to define anything that seems fuzzy or not clear to the employee, and to let them know how things might change in the coming year for the business. Clear communication is so important in any relationship, so be sure you're letting them know exactly what's expected of them.
Allows for Feedback
The very BEST employee reviews are a two-way street! This should never be just you lecturing to your employee without hearing anything from them. You also want to listen to any feedback THEY may have for you. Of course you also want to let them know what they need to improve and where they've done an outstanding job. Remember that the best way to deliver any critical feedback is with a criticism hamburger 🍔. You put the criticism between two "buns" or compliments. So you would say: "I love your communication with our vendors, it's amazing. I do think we should help you understand a bit more about what I'm looking for when it comes to sources. But you've definitely kept on top of the orders after they've been placed." That's a nicely built "hamburger." :)
Gives You Goals
Set some goals for your employees, both short term and long term. And be sure you're giving them opportunities to learn and to grow. That will make them better employees in the long run! Also offer them some insight into YOUR goals and the ideas you have for your business in the coming year. It's so much easier to reach those when everyone understands what you're working towards! Be sure the employee's goals are written down and that at the next review you go over them again to see if there's been any progress.
Protects Your Business
If there is ever a major issue and you need to let an employee go, it's always better if you can have some documentation to support why they're being fired. Regular reviews, with documents detailing feedback and goals, is the BEST way to show you did your due diligence. So be sure you're offering a written document each time to your employee, and that you're keeping a copy for your records.
Of course the very best scenario is hiring FABULOUS employees in the first place and setting those expectations and goals from the very first day! To help you with that, download my FREE Guide to Onboarding a New Hire here!