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Performance review: How to use this HR tool to cultivate, retain talent

Work experience, including performance feedback, accounts for about 70% of the professional development relevant to career advancement. And the right performance review process can provide a platform for this feedback.

Here are four steps to make performance reviews work.

Step 1. Self-review & peer review

An employee must be given 360-degree feedback, which consists of three parts:

1. Self-review. An employee evaluates herself.

2. Peer review. Colleagues who work closely with the employee rate her/his work.

3. Personal meeting with the line manager.

The first two parts — self-review and peer review — must be done in advance, so that during the meeting with a manager, it’s already possible to have a deeper conversation. For employees, peer evaluation helps compare how much their own evaluation matches with how colleagues see it. They draw conclusions and take them into account in their future work.

F1V uses internal CRM (Zoho People). But for the small team at the start is okay to use Google Form surveys for this purpose.

Such reviews, in addition to hard skills, employee’s performance and potential should ask to rate the soft skills. Among them are:

  • problem-solving;

  • communication;

  • teamwork;

  • self-learning;

  • adaptability;

  • decision-making;

  • and vision;

The manager reads self-review and peer reviews looks at the employee’s KPIs or OKRs, and prepares for a personal meeting.

Step 2. Time for feedback

The performance review meeting with manager consists of two stages:

  • Employee reports on his achievements and difficulties during six months of work

  • The manager gives his detailed feedback on the employee's performance over the reporting period, talks with him about his growth areas, and helps him set KPIs/OKRs and a development plan for the next six months.

Many managers forget to praise their colleagues and focus purely on the things that “should be improved.” At the same time, 56% of staffers consider the feeling of recognition as an important factor for staying in their current job.

When discussing the failures, managers should use concrete examples and avoid making the conversation too personal — after all, they assess the person’s work, not her character.

❌ “You’re always failing to meet deadlines! What’s wrong with you?”

✅ “You sent the document two days after the deadline. As a result, the designer couldn’t include it in the presentation, which negatively affected our relationship with the client. Let’s talk through how we can fix it.”

During the review, employees should also be able to give feedback to the manager. To make him feel free to do this, the manager must first create an environment of trust. The best way to do this is to hold regular 1:1 meetings in which the employee can talk about the challenges he is facing, the help he needs, or tell about successful ideas or initiatives.

Step 3. Personal development plan

Ideally, each performance review should result in a personal development plan, a list of goals, tasks, and skills to improve to grow at a company.

Employees should prepare such a plan and discuss it with the manager when they sit down to talk.

A development plan should include the following:

  • Key goals for the next period;

  • training and upskilling (including a list of courses required for promotion);

  • new responsibilities and challenges.

Everything must have a deadline, specific steps, and criteria for evaluating the results during the next performance review.

Step 4: Follow-up

After a performance review, a manager should write a follow-up, which includes the results of the previous period, goals for the next one, and a personal development plan written down with concrete steps and deadlines.

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Cover photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

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