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Six Strategies for Making Performance Reviews More Productive (and Less Stressful)

by Charlotte Emerson

As a rule, performance reviews are stressful for both employees and managers. They are often awkward and time consuming to conduct, which only adds to their unpopularity among managers. Add to that, creating performance plans that are based on actionable goals and merit increases can be a challenge. There has to be a better way to make performance reviews worth the effort. 

Fortunately, there are some strategies for making employee performance reviews a lot more productive and less stressful all around. See below 6 ways how managers can make performance reviews better:

1. Move away from once-a-year reporting

It used to be standard practice to conduct performance reviews once a year, generally corresponding with merit increases. Now, managers understand the importance of conducting reviews on a more regular and frequent basis. This is helpful at gauging employee progress year-round, rather than a “push” a few weeks before and after the year end budgeting.

2. Don’t link salary increases to performance ratings

It may seem somewhat foreign not to think about raises as being connected directly to performance, but this sets employees up for expectations that make performance reviews negative. Why? When employees think they have to prove they deserve a raise when walking into a performance review, it is non-productive. Use indirect means to link pay to performance.

3. Use surveys to gather feedback from employees

Every organization can make performance reviews easier by surveying employees ahead of time about their likes and dislikes about this process. Use a confidential 360 degree employee survey via a secure provider and then work with management to improve performance reviews based on the results.

4. Use a more accurate and clear evaluation

Many performance review formulas and checklists can be confusing at best. In order to get the most accurate data and conduct reviews that are fair to employees, use a performance review product that provides clear and accurate reporting.

5. Create an employee incentive plan for goal achievement

Incentive programs for employees can be a very effective way to boost performance levels and morale. Create some new incentives and link them to the performance goals for every employee. A performance system that automates and tracks incentives is ideal.

6. Align meaningful goals with performance metrics

The performance review system will only be as good as its ability to create meaningful goals that each employee can meet in a reasonable amount of time. Review reports and look for performance metrics that matter to employees and their long term career success.

To discover more tips on how to make performance reviews less stressful, book a FREE consultation now.

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