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Tips for Employers Who Are Conducting Performance Reviews

Appraisals on staff members can feel like an intrusive and high-pressure exercise that only adds to personal anxiety levels.

However, businesses who do engage performance reviews on a regular basis have the chance to hold individuals to account without necessarily threatening their job prospects.

It is a way of maintaining a strong work culture where objectives and targets are not just written on paper, but delivered with tangible actions.

For those commercial entities who are about to run their own appraisal program, it is important to take note of these tips from organisations who use these measures each year.

Making The Process Universal

If certain participants who are subjected to performance reviews have a completely different experience against their colleagues, that will open up the business to unwanted scrutiny – and deservedly so. Brands have to be universal and consistent with their approach from one individual to the next, allowing everyone to be judged by the same criteria rather than using a fluctuating set of guidelines that is subjective by nature. Publish the forms and ensure there is no discrepancies from one person to the next.

Clearly Scheduled

The genuine rule of thumb with performance reviews is that they are undertaken once or twice per year. That 6-12 month dynamic gives department officials in HR a chance to plan for the procedure and room and maneuver. It also gives employees an opportunity to plan for the initiative without deviating their focus from their core responsibility for the organisation. Those companies who decide to initiate impromptu performance appraisals can find a degree of pushback from professionals who are caught off guard, feeling isolated from the inner sanctum.

Documenting The Process

From the performance reviews that were undertaken in 2010 to 2015 and those again for 2020, it is important to document this process and create a paper trail. This is a step that ensures a long-term assessment pattern for participants who have been subjected to this program on more than one occasion. It will give context to those who have either shown improvement or a drop in efficiency, allowing them to explain this phenomenon without being judged purely on one financial year.

Employers Subjected to Review

Depending on the nature of the hierarchy, it is important that performance reviews are applied across the board. If accountability is a genuine philosophy and not just a branding exercise, then upper management has to be scrutinised on their merits. This can be somewhat awkward for professionals in HR who are employees themselves, but it is a helpful approach when all parties have to go through the same struggles without receiving preferential treatment. That is where workplace culture really does showcase itself to all departments.

Give The Employee a Chance to Discuss The Review Process Openly

Performance reviews that are strictly imposed on employees have a lower chance of success than those standards that are openly communicated between both parties. If there is ambiguity in the job description or an updated contract that is signed in between the assessment period, that should be reflected in the talks. This is an approach that gives the employee ownership of the initiative, empowering the company to hold them to account because the program was designed in a conciliatory manner. It will also remove any unwanted surprises that they could contest down the line.


It is inescapable that employees who are subjected to performance reviews will despise the process. No one wants to be under the microscope or have their professionalism or acumen questioned by others. If commercial entities follow through on these principles, then men and women will be more comfortable coming forward and engaging with their employer.