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When is the Best Time to Give an Employee Review?

November 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Employee performance reviews can be some of the most difficult and uncomfortable meetings for employees and managers alike. To simplify, streamline and ease the process, we would like to suggest some simple tips, including the best times to conduct your meetings for evaluating employees:

Conduct Reviews Early

Don’t wait to be pushed into an employee review by the human resources department (HR). By getting the annual reviews out of the way, you won’t be rushed and haphazard in your approach. Plan ahead and know what date you will be conducting the review—don’t just wait until the end of the year when you are feeling like your back is against the wall and adding stress to the situation.

Conducting reviews after an employee’s probation time and at the anniversary of their hiring date are common ways to avoid a rush of crammed employee reviews at the end of the year. Use a tracking system to help you keep track of the dates you have already given reviews and when you plan to have your next review for each employee.

After a Probationary Period

When an employee is first hired, it is usually expected that there will be a probationary period. At the end of this period it is very common to have a review. If this is the case, set that date on the entrance of the employee (so you are both aware it is coming long before the possibility of a problem). This will take the anxiety and pressure off of the day—you both are planning on it from the beginning. This is also true for employees that are put on a probationary period for a warning or work-related problem.

No Surprises

You will be keeping tabs year round on your employees’ progress and work, so don’t wait to let them know how they are doing. Some of the worst situations in evaluation for employees’ performance come because an employee is surprised by the attitude their manager actually has about the work being done. If something is being done well (or poorly) it should be addressed long before the performance review. Remember, the reviews are just that: reviews. Keep track of your interaction with employees to remind them of the progress they have made over the year and what could still use improvement.

Be a Teammate

You may be the boss, but you are also part of a team. Leadership gently gets the followers where they need to be. This means saying the hard things that need to be said, but knowing how to also encourage and praise your employees. This is not a once-a-year task, but part of the daily grind of a manager.

Be Prepared

The best time to go about evaluating employees is when you are fully prepared to do so. Make sure you have given enough feedback throughout the year that nothing you say comes as a surprise and have a set date long before the meeting. Remember, the most uncomfortable situations are those that feel threatening or come as an ambush, but you also don’t want to waste your time giving performance reviews that are sugar-coated and not an accurate picture of the work situation for that employee.

Tags: annual review evaluating employees
Category: Employee Evaluations

Staff Files helps managers keep electronic personnel records including employee performance evaluations. Download a free demo/trial edition of the software to try it out!


Have questions about Staff Files? Call us at 1-800-874-8801 or email us at sales@abs-usa.com.

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