With the working year approaching the half way mark, it is timely to conduct a six-monthly work performance review of all staff members.
Every person employed in a business should have a job description. This becomes the reference from which their performance is assessed.
The climate under which reviews are conducted should be such that everyone is looking forward to gaining constructive feedback and ideas on how they can make a better contribution.
Deep down most people want to improve the way they do things. This is a golden opportunity to improve personal efficiency and productivity.
Ultimately it must lead to increased job satisfaction, so if work reviews do not happen in your workplace, then you should present this article to your boss and request a review as soon as possible.
School leavers in their first year of work will mostly likely approach their first work performance review with some trepidation because they will fear that they are being critically judged.
The boss must know how to set a relaxed climate and how to issue constructive feedback so that any fears that the young employee has, are quickly allayed.
A productive review is when there is equal involvement of both the employee and employee. Both parties should come to the review with questions written down so the outcome is complete.
Both should leave the review more positive than what they were at the start.
Balancing both positive and negative should be of critical concern to the reviewer and it must be stressed that the feedback is directed at work performance and is not to become a character assassination.
In the teaching game, they talk about the feedback sandwich - where you place the critical or not so pleasant feedback between two positive or pleasant pieces.
Where possible, light humour should be pursued and this may best be centred on one of the employee's 'stuff ups'. We all know that 'stuff ups' are part of everyone's workplace and one of the greatest sources of learning. The trick is to know how to turn a negative into a positive.
Gaining an agreement on what will be done better and how and having the employee commit themselves to it is the key. Where possible it should be the employee who is admitting his/her deficiencies and verbalising how they will do things better in the future.
The employer should only be tucking in the edges.
A good employer should always ask their staff, how can I be a better boss, it may surprise you what you learn.
A good review may lead to the job description being revised and possibly new roles added or removed.
If an employee has exceeded expectation in all areas on the job description, then the discussion on increased pay should follow.
An employee performing beyond expectation must be rewarded in some way if you want them to remain on staff.
While money speaks most languages, rewards can come in other forms - extra time off, a profit share, improvements to the employee's house or the use of farm resources for personal reasons could be considered.
For the review to be fully effective, the boss should present the employee with a summary of the agreements made to the employee following the review.
Every employee should be treated as an appreciating asset and if you do that then they may just become that.
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