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How to Improve Employee Performance Reviews


The process for employee performance reviews should be as honest and transparent as possible. Remember, this is a chance for growth and development, so the more comprehensive your process is, the greater chance your employees will have to flourish. Here are seven ways you can improve your employee performance reviews to ensure you cultivate an evolving, motivated staff.

Be transparent and proactive

An employee should never hear about criteria for his performance for the first time at their formal review meeting. Instead, he should learn about those guidelines upon being hired and they should be discussed regularly, even weekly or daily. Instead the meeting should just be a re-emphasis of critical points. If there’s a self-evaluation or a form that the manager fills out, the employee should be given the opportunity to review it beforehand.

Set goals

Goal-setting is important so each person knows what’s expected of their performance. Document the agreed-upon goals and the plan to get there. Without a shared picture of success, employees are not likely to reach it. Establish how the goals will be measured and how performance will be evaluated.

Keep records

Have evidence of completed projects, missed deadlines, quotas achieved, etc., for the entire review period. Don’t rely solely on your memory or you risk using inaccurate or unfair and unbalanced data.

Use other people

Get feedback from co-workers, other bosses and anyone who reports to him so you have as much data as possible. Start with more casual conversations and develop a procedure for documenting more notable feedback that might sway the ranking of the employee.


Always prepare for the meeting with the employee! Even if you expect the meeting to go smoothly because you’re dealing with a pretty stellar employee, you’re missing the opportunity to properly challenge him. Make sure you’re familiar with the data collected on the employee, so you have a clear picture of what improvements he can make.

Be positive

Focus on the positive more than on the negative, so the meeting has an inspiring and motivating tone. Unfavorable feedback is still important, however, because it helps you identify areas for improvement. Speak directly, don’t mince words, and don’t sugarcoat your message! Otherwise, you miss the chance to tackle behaviors that need to change.

Establish trust

Be sincere, so employees know you share a goal of wanting them to improve. If you believe in him, he’ll believe in himself. Make the meeting a discussion, not a lecture. Since it is, in fact, about him, the employee should feel as though he was given a chance to reply and participate–not micromanaged or patronized. Ask questions about his challenges, aspirations, goals and what he’d like from you.

For more tips on how to nurture your staff and put your company ahead of the competition, contact us today.

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Written by

Ty Culver is the Client Development Director of CulverCareers focusing on talent acquisition and workforce solutions with a wide variety of local, national and global clients.

Ty has been working in various aspects of the industry for over 10 years and developed deep expertise in Executive Search, Executive Benefit and Talent Acquisition Programs along the way. He has a range of experience from SMB to Enterprise clients and hyper specific executive searches to high volume recruiting with companies in a dynamic state of flux.

Today, Ty leads a talented team of Talent Acquisition Specialists, Executive Recruiters and Client Success Managers at one of the most respected Recruiting Firms in the Nation, CulverCareers. While leadership is a key aspect of his role, Ty still enjoys working with clients on recruiting strategies, executive benefit solutions and workforce solutions to help clients build a holistic approach to talent acquisition and talent retention.

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