Employee performance reviews can be difficult under any circumstances. In the wake of the pandemic, the rules have changed significantly for everyone. If your team is still working remotely, University of Phoenix has a few ideas on how to have more productive employee performance reviews.
Shorter Reviews More Often
Instead of one comprehensive review per year, it might be better to have three or four shorter reviews. University of Phoenix adopted this system itself, and it has shown to be helpful in keeping connections with employees and fostering productive conversations. With remote work, losing the connection that forms from in-person interaction is easy. Frequent reviews allows more one-on-one time. Plus, there are fewer surprises for the employee. Staff will know exactly how they are doing and whether they are improving, without waiting an entire year for feedback. The employee also feels supported every step of the way.
Don’t Mince Words
Fair and firm is still a reliable philosophy for performance reviews. Managers can still show compassion to employees during what is clearly a difficult time. If the employee struggles to meet deadlines because they have three small children in their home, this needs to be addressed but not in a demeaning way. You can rethink deadlines and workflows or look into delegating work. Talk to your employee about a potential solution, and do not wait to address the issue.
Focus on the Future
When you bring up past events or issues, use them constructively. Include context and clear explanation of changes for moving forward to ensure that mistakes do not happen again. When everyone leaves the conversation, they should have the organization’s larger goals in mind, rather than a list of things that were done poorly. The employee should have a clear idea of how their work plays a key role in pushing the organization forward.
Check Your Rating System
University of Phoenix recently eliminated a review system that used terms such as ‘meets expectations’. These words quickly became labels added during performance reviews and became far more important to employees than their actual performance. Instead, the University put the focus on feedback and coaching. This shift lifted stress from everyone involved. Managers did not need to worry about disappointing employees with labels, and employees were not left feeling as if they were given a bad grade.
Cameras and Reviews
Video calls continue to fall short of in-person experiences when it comes to performance reviews. However, University of Phoenix management staff use cameras during performance evaluations, even if the employee turns theirs off. If the employee is uncomfortable turning on their camera, they can still see that they have their manager’s undivided attention during the course of the review.
Following these tips may not eliminate every uncomfortable conversation, but they can go a long way toward building trust and rapport between employees and managers.
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