What is Performance Review Like in Your Workplace?

Note: Performance and Talent Management have been common topics of conversation with my Business Coaching and Consulting clients recently.  So, I dug up an article I wrote back in September, 2014 as a guest blogger on the JuvodHR site.  This is a blatant plug for JuvodHR because this is the only site I’ve found that seamlessly ties job descriptions, performance strategies, and corrective actions together in an affordable web-based tool set to help small business owners manage employees more effectively.  I believe that using the JuvodHR tool set saves time, eliminates frustration (on the parts of managers and employees), and lowers the risk of liability because it’s hard to do bad performance management using these tools. A key place in the overall Performance Management Process that has great potential for impacting employee engagement and future productivity is the Performance Review stage – where the rubber meets the road in terms of development opportunity and often compensation treatment. So, what is performance review like in your workplace? Read the article and my appended note below to find out about my take on the subject. – Doreen


performance reviewWhat are you doing when you conduct performance reviews? If that is the time you choose to tell an employee all about what they have done and what you think about it – you’ve probably already done it wrong. First, by the time performance reviews roll around, your employees know exactly how they are doing (albeit on their own terms) – and if they don’t already know how you, the boss, thinks about their performance, then look to your performance as a leader of people. Performance Reviews should be just that, Reviews; conversations summarizing projects, competencies, expectations, accolades, progress, opportunities, etc. – based on day-to-day interactions over the review period (and ONLY over the review period). Performance feedback and acknowledgements should be taking place every day in your workplace.

OK, so now that we have that straight, what exactly are you reviewing? In my old corporate HR days, we had an elaborate and time-consuming process of setting goals, developing metrics, and weaving an invisible golden thread from company objectives down to individual goals so each person could, theoretically, understand and track their contributions to organizational success. The process was so complicated that goals were often set well after the ‘performance period’ was underway. Throughout my HR career, I don’t think I talked to a single person who looked forward to performance review season – not the initial goal setting, the mid-year review, nor the end-of-year review. Goals that were set at the beginning of the year were dusted off and paraded around only for the mid-year and end-of-year reviews. It was treated as something that had to be squeezed into already busy schedules and the execution of the process was often painful for employees and bosses alike.

The one thing that could have made those performance reviews so much easier, less painful, and more effective – but was missing from the whole process – was the job description. The job description already has a functional description of the role, the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of a job holder, essential functions of the position, and other relevant information that tells everyone what to expect and how to determine if an incumbent is contributing effectively. The information on a job description is specific, measurable, achievable, and reasonable – OH, look at that — almost all of the requirements of SMART Goal criteria! Even the last criterion, Time-bound, is added in the practicality of setting goals for a defined performance period.

Goals developed from a job description practically pop off the page, and I don’t have to do it myself, because the JuvodHR tool does it for me – a completely practical and obvious list of assessable factors based on the job description content. Finding the golden thread between an individual’s operational functions and broader organizational objectives is easy when looking at contributions through job descriptions. When I heard about JuvodHR and saw for myself how they combined the job description with the performance review, I admit to dropping my jaw in a Hallelujah moment. How very cool is this – an affordable, easy, and quick way to engage employees in a non-painful performance review process that can be accessed and used as often as needed within the partnership between an employee and his or her boss. Wow – a performance review process that can actually contribute positively to the employee experience!

Why do you need JuvodHR? Only you can answer that question, but consider this: What can be true for you if your performance process could contribute to better relationships, help facilitate a more engaging employee experience, and increase the effectiveness of performance conversations in your workplace?


So now you know, I am a fan of JuvodHR.com and its awesome job description and performance management tools for small businesses that make it easy to get everyone on the same page for job expectations and results, as well as corrective actions when needed.  An important thing to remember is that performance management should be part of an overall talent management strategy.  We all want the best and brightest employees – our businesses depend on hiring the people who can contribute to business success, so the business can contribute to their success.  Sadly, some people hire talented employees for their brains, then manage as if all they got were the hands.  No wonder employees end up disengaged and looking for something better. Employees need to know they are appreciated and valued in the workplace. Build your performance management strategy to support overall talent management, and make sure there are plenty of tools and strategies to recognize and reward people for giving their best to your business.

Most people want to know what is expected of them and they want to know what they can do to improve their contributions – so regular feedback and respectful corrections go a long way to having happy workers.  Positive recognition will take you even further. If you spend more of your time finding reasons to recognize employee contributions with sincere gratitude and meaningful feedback, your employees will spend more of their time making your business more successful.

And, oh, by the way – if you are a business owner with employees doing jobs without job descriptions, then you need Juvod HR more than you know.  Set up your free trial at JuvodHR.com and you can have a job description just minutes later.  Really.

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