HOW TO PERFORM EFFECTIVE EMPLOYEE REVIEWS December 22, 2020 | Franchise , Business Tips | training , business growth , entrepreneur By David Stamper, NPI, Inc.'s President & CFO Constructive meetings should be held on a regular basis to continually improve employees’ performance, refine their goals and of course make sure your business is headed in the right direction. Here’s what to cover in your next performance review to give employees and yourself the best insights. When to Conduct Reviews You can set the timeframe for when you want to assess your employees and their work. For newer hires, it’s more beneficial to hold a meeting after a few months of employment. This allows you to catch any issues early on that you can help them iron out. The longer a staff member is with you, the longer you can space out the time between reviews. Eventually, you may not need to continually conduct reviews for employees who have been with you for a prolonged period of time. But if you haven't ever done a review with them, it can be beneficial to look over their work and use it as a guide for others. What to Include in a Review There are several key performance indicators (KPIs) to include in your performance review. While you can add in others that apply to their position or experience, the most common are: • Communication • Teamwork • Critical-thinking • Work quality • Reliability • Ability to meet deadlines It’s also good to weigh each section appropriately based on how vital you believe they are. Along with each category, you should determine a grading scale. This can be either a letter scale from A to F, numerical scores or descriptive phrases like “some of the time.” Conducting the Review During your review, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible when discussing the report. Make sure your employee knows why they got the ranking they did and what they can do to improve. Of course, it’s best to do these reviews one-on-one, and preferably in person. As you go over all the information, what you say and how you say it play a major role in an employee understanding everything. Break Things Down When you start to go over the report, give an introduction. Tell the employee what you’re going to cover and what each section talks about. This will help them know what to expect and follow along better. Honesty is the Best Policy The truth can be hard to hear and even harder to say, especially in a small business where you may know an employee personally. But the best thing that you can do is be transparent. Lay out what you’ve noticed from them and how well they’re fitting into the business. It doesn’t do anyone any good to gloss over issues and let something persist and snowball into a bigger problem. Balance Critiques with Praise Although it’s good to be honest, too much brutal honesty can be disheartening and demotivating. Also cover what it is that your employees do well. Highlight positive traits and actions you’ve noticed that set them apart from others in the workplace and emphasize that you’d like to see them keep them up. This is a great confidence booster for new employees who may be nervous about having their work evaluated. Talk in Specifics To keep everyone on the same page, be as specific as possible. Detail the grading that you gave and why you gave it. If they have any questions, clear up any confusion as soon as possible to help them learn and grow going forward. End with a Goal As you wrap up your meeting, set a few goals that you’d like to see your employee achieve. They can be ones to do weekly, monthly and yearly to assist them in their development as a worker. Have tangible markers so that they can see their growth and track their progress. When it comes time for your next check-in, reviewing their improvements will let you both see how far they’ve come. For more advice on how to properly manage your employees, reach out to the home office at 402-333-9807. About the Author David Stamper, President & CFO NPI Inc.'s President and Chief Financial Officer David Stamper holds a B.S. in Accounting and Mathematics from Buena Vista University and currently manages day-to-day business activities, performs the company’s accounting functions, coordinates software development and assists with long-term planning. In addition to his management duties, David also helps train and mentor new franchisees and provides business management support for current franchise owners.