To Review or not to Review….that is the question

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February 3, 2010

Report cardHere at That’s Good HR, Inc., an Indianapolis staffing company, we have just completed our celebration of surviving 2009 and with this comes the time of year when performance reviews are conducted for each staff member within the temporary division.

As the person who writes the reviews each year, I must say it is not one of my favorite tasks. Let’s be honest, I absolutely dread it. I get the strength to sit down and get them done through my realization of how important it is. My employees really look forward to getting some solid feedback about their performance over the past year, even though this always makes people a little nervous too. Given that I am simply the writer of the review, not the recipient of said feedback, I often lose sight of the importance. It is such a daunting task to recall good and bad events within the last year and then write about them in a constructive manner. After I complete reviews, I reread them and cannot help but feel I have not done the process justice, but to the person with whom you are conducting the review, there is a true appreciation for the insights.
I realized this year how important reviews were because of the reactions of my employees and at the same time I ran across this management article titled: "Performance Appraisal – A Managerial Responsibility".  The following information really hit home with me: 

"If done properly, performance appraisal is a very effective tool to improve performance and productivity and for developing employees. It helps individuals to do better, raises self-esteem and motivation. Above all it strengthens the management/subordinate relationship and fosters commitment. Performance evaluation is not a process to be avoided; rather it should be implemented in all organizations and promoted as a key management activity. The benefits to be realized from a proper evaluation system far outweigh the time and effort required to develop, implement and maintain the process."


Another resource I found, titled "Understanding the Importance of Employee Performance Reviews", helped to put into perspective the importance around constructive feedback. 

A company’s strength lies in how secure an employee feels about his job. Remember, it’s a performance review, not a criticism session. The primary objective is to evaluate how an employee can add more value to the company. An employee should feel motivated after a performance review session. A positive attitude makes all the difference!

While there are so many excuses you can come up with NOT to conduct an employee performance review, the reasons to take the time to do them far outweigh the excuses.  The benefits you can get from providing solid, constructive and if possible POSITIVE feedback to your team cannot be overstated.  Don’t just take my word for it, there are LOTS of great resources, studies, tools and articles out there to support this effort. 

For those of you on the receiving end of the performance review, do not worry, I have some advice for you as well.  Who better to help you prepare for a performance review than the professionals from "The Office".  If nothing else, it will keep you smiling.