Make the Most Out of Informal Review Practices

Sep 01, 2015

Make the Most Out of Informal Review Practices

Informal reviews are an ideal opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with employees and provide feedback about their performance. When done correctly, informal reviews can serve multiple purposes, including addressing issues, answering questions, and providing encouragement and support. Below are some of the many purposes that can be accomplished through an informal performance review:

  • Provide feedback for a specific situation
  • Set goals and provide clarity to job duties
  • Help guide good and bad habits
  • Celebrate special skills and accomplishments
  • Give special recognition for job performance

When approaching an informal performance review, be sure to take the employee's perspective into consideration. The work they produce is a reflection of who they are, so most will try to do a good job. When you show you value and honor what is most important to an employee, he or she will be more likely to listen to and comprehend what you have to say.

Take this opportunity to point out successes and give direct and constructive criticism. Reinforcing their strengths and gracefully identifying their weakness will encourage them to work hard. Giving them valuable feedback and an extensive evaluation in an informal setting will allow a conversation to flow from both sides—resulting in future positive employee performances. Taking the time to give consistent feedback will build a strong rapport and give employers the chance to informally coach them.

People will continue to do things for which they get desirable rewards, said Mike Poskey, president of ZERORISK HR.

Conducting a successful informal evaluation should include at least these three things to be effective:

  1. Acknowledge the successes of the employee and thank him or her for it.
  2. Address any challenges or issues that have come to your attention that need to be corrected or improved.
  3. Specifically, speak about your hope that the employee will be successful in the future because of the great strengths and abilities you have seen in his or her work.

Giving feedback is an art, and doing it correctly and efficiently will pay off in the long run. Over time, as you gain experience, this skill will become easier. But there are some guidelines and errors to keep in mind. For each evaluation, address one issue at a time—avoid overwhelming or "attacking" your employee. With that, the feedback you give should inspire them to work harder, not focus on being upset with themselves. A way to make sure everyone understands the issue is to always give specific examples and make connections with the behavior and how it impacts the rest of the team. And of course, give employees time to respond and ask any questions they may have.

Creating the space to have a conversation rather than an interrogation with your employee will benefit everyone. With continued encouragement and valuable feedback, your team will be able to improve constructively! If you need a guiding hand, ZERORISK HR offers help for all through employee and team development.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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