How to Deliver Effective Performance Reviews

Author ProFlow Learning Centre, 17 days ago |

Employee performance appraisals are important for most types of organisations. However, the delivery of effective performance reviews depends on the manager’s execution, particularly on how they motivate or frustrate employees.

A good performance appraisal helps managers and employees identify growth areas as well as areas for improvement. When delivered properly, the right message will come across without causing any damage to the professional relationship of managers and their direct reports.

Effective performance reviews

Best Ways to Deliver Effective Performance Reviews

Writing effective performance reviews isn’t easy. In fact, some managers don’t know how to create a comprehensive employee appraisal, much less deliver it in the right manner. Here are some ways to address that.

Commit to providing clear outcomes 

Managers should make performance reviews one of the core values of the organisation, and all members of the team should prioritise it. They must always serve as the role models of the team, which means they have to focus on giving employee reviews that accurately measure their performance.

Managers must always be clear when communicating important review points. They must make sure that all metrics are well-defined. It’s important for managers and employees to see eye-to-eye when it comes to the measurements of performance.

Provide regular feedback 

Managers usually write performance reviews a few times a year. However, they must continuously give and receive feedback. Ideally, the manager should assess the employee’s performance on a regular basis so that there won’t be any surprises when the actual time for the appraisal comes. 

Managers must take notes about the performance of the employee on a consistent basis. That way, they can provide recognition and criticism as needed. Managers must be careful not to neglect their top performers. Although they don’t require a great deal of guidance or direction, it’s possible for these employees to lose their motivation if they aren’t recognised for the work that they put in.

Remember that managers should not only focus on employees who are not performing well. If they do, then they might be missing the huge opportunity to further develop an employee who can eventually become a leader or manager that can shape the company’s culture through innovation and creativity.

Lay the facts but let employees talk 

Performance appraisals must be based on data and facts, not emotions or opinions. Managers may ask for inputs from as many sources as possible before writing an employee’s performance review. Ideally, the feedback must come from people whom the employee is working closely with. All feedback included in the review must be factual.

Upon completing the review, schedule a time to talk with the employee about it. Give employees the chance to discuss the review that their manager made and the feedback that they received. Ask for their feedback before giving your own. Strike a meaningful conversation with the employee.

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Be honest 

Even the top performers of the organisation need to know how they can further improve. Address all areas for improvement, especially the behaviours that directly affect the team. Be clear and straight to the point so that the employee will get the right message. 

Managers must be very honest, but not to the point that they’re attacking the person. They must deliver employee feedback in the same way that they want to receive it. There may be some discussions about the review and that’s unavoidable. Choose the right approach when conversing with each employee. 

Create a plan 

After giving the review and asking for feedback, the next step to do is to create a plan. Clarity is crucial so that employees know exactly what to do after receiving their performance review. If managers aren’t clear, then the performance review will be useless. It can’t be used to help the employee improve their present situation. Worse, you’ll be discussing the same things during the next performance review.

Be sure to create the plan together. Get inputs from the employee on how they intend to improve their performance and achieve their new goals. Hold them accountable for that. Create a clear and concise action plan. Employees tend to support plans that they help create.

End the meeting positively 

Never leave an employee performance appraisal meeting without arriving at a mutual understanding. Managers must respect not just the opinion of their direct reports but also their inputs and suggestions.

Remember that the purpose of employee reviews is to help the person improve. Therefore, managers should guide them in every step of the way as they move forward. Managers should use the review process to reset goals and provide specific directions.

Ending the meeting on a positive note encourages the employees to give their best on the next outing. As managers should be quick to express their appreciation to an employee who performed well, they should also be keen on lifting an employee’s spirits when they give constructive criticism. Negative feedback should be coupled with positive reinforcement to achieve the best possible results.

Check-in regularly 

Whether the employee is performing poorly or doing well, managers should check-in with their direct reports on a regular basis. Doing so will keep the employee right on track with their performance while getting the motivation that they need to move forward.

Managers should make giving and receiving feedback a routine. By doing so, the employees will have a somewhat good idea as to how they’ll fare in the next formal performance review. This also makes employee appraisals a much easier process than it used to be.

Great performance reviews


To give useful and effective performance reviews, managers should learn how to properly give feedback and provide input. They should also work as hard as their teams to help them improve and maximise their abilities.

Companies want highly engaged employees. The most ideal way to achieve that is to build a culture where managers and employees prioritise performance output, value feedback and focus on development. These are the secrets to creating effective employee reviews.