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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 has extensive experience in the Talent Acquisition/Retention space. He has helped some of the most powerful companies in the market place enhance their employee experience and scale their teams. Ty specializes in Executive Search, Retention programs for Key People and Population Wellness. Ty has helped CulverCareers rise to the Top 1% of the industry and differentiate from the field with a holistic approach to Acquisition and Retention of People.

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