In today’s fast-changing world, a company that doesn’t see some kind of growth will inevitably fall behind.
This growth can reflect from the very bottom. When employees are working hard and improving their performance while under your care, you know the entire organization is on an upward path.
That concept remains true, whether you’re a startup company or a giant in your industry.
To see this growth, you need regular performance reviews. Performance reviews allow HR to grasp how well their employees function in their work environment.
When employees work great, executives know that they’re doing something right, and stakeholders are happy. However, when the performance reviews reveal negative numbers, HR personnel know when to intervene and look at the problem from all sides.
This concept might sound great, but just that concept isn’t enough to put into practice. For instance, which aspect of their professional lives should be measured? Which applies to you the most, and which criteria can you live without?
To bridge this gap between concept and application, we will talk about performance reviews criteria and which you should use in your company.
What are performance reviews?
Understanding performance reviews are essential if you want to talk about possible review criteria.
Performance reviews are regular evaluations that you give your employees about their contribution to the company. These reviews typically tackle aspects that range from work attitudes, productivity, and achievements. The results of these evaluations will normally be grounds for promotion or termination.
Companies evaluate performance periodically, typically in annual, semi-annual, or quarterly schedules. There are many methods used to conduct these reviews, such as the following:
- Self-evaluations. Although typically not used as a standard during formal evaluations, self-evaluations are great in opening up discussions when paired with actual metrics of employees’ actual work performance.
- Behavioral checks. These evaluations are often used to judge an individual’s fit to a team, revealing aspects of their personality and work ethic that are considered valuable to the team.
- 360-Degree Feedback. This type of assessment is comprehensive feedback about the employee, coming from various sources, to create a complete picture of the employee’s performance on the job.
- Management by Objectives (MBO). MBOs recruit the employee into the evaluation process by providing clear indicators of success or failure. Managers will typically set work goals for a certain period, and evaluations will be done as to the result.
- Rating scale. One of the most commonly used employee performance reviews around rating tests is a customizable self-evaluation where managers can examine various aspects (competencies, productivity) through a rating scale.
There are as many employee performance reviews are there are grains in the sand, and it’s up to your company to find which type works best for you.
Performance reviews criteria
Performance reviews are critical for your company’s continued growth.
But if you’re planning to evaluate your employees regularly, you need more than just general concepts: specific criteria to judge them.
Specifying performance reviews criteria even before conducting the evaluation is advantageous because it narrows down your focus to the critical aspects of workmanship that you’re concerned about.
Not everything has to be measured.
A good part of being a good manager or HR personnel is knowing which details to focus on and which to ignore. This exact concept applies to performance reviews. Here are the most pertinent criteria that you might want to examine in your employees during your review sessions.
Quality of Work
A significant part of knowing an employee’s actual value in your organization is by looking at the quality of their work. Thus, one of the most fundamental factors that you can measure when reviewing employees is the quality of work.
This factor is an umbrella term for a wide variety of other aspects. Mostly, it relies on numbers, such as.
- Client or customer satisfaction
- Supervisor feedback
- How they’re doing with their goals
- Recent noteworthy achievements or glaring failures, etc.
Discussing details like these can give you a great idea of your employee’s quality of work in your company.
Goals and Target Achievement
Your employees doing with set goals is always an excellent way to evaluate their performance. Easy examples include the number of closed accounts, submission of crucial reports, number of clients catered to, etc.
Essentially, these are easily measurable, numeric factors that you can use as an easy way of measuring your employee’s performance.
However, just because it’s primarily quantitative doesn’t mean you should ignore other factors.
Look at the numbers in context; if they’re doing well, is it really because of their ability, or are there other environmental factors that made performing their job easier? For example, even a beginner salesperson can close a higher-than-average number of deals during absolute peak season.
In the same vein, if your employee is not doing so well, it might also be because of outside factors such as a shift in market conditions, team issues, and more.
Whereas the previous factor looked at easily-measurable standards such as their work goals, productivity level can be challenging to pin down. This is because there’s no one way to measure productivity: you need to look at their specific tasks and judge how well they perform compared to some kind of average.
Thus, there are many ways to measure productivity over a set period, such as the following.
- Tasks finished in a single day
- Number of mistakes made within a period
- When they clock in and out, etc.
Measuring productivity level is important because it measures how well your company is running from the ground up.
Initiative and Motivation
Effective employees need internal motivation and initiative to tackle challenges. When you know how motivated and assertive your employees are, you know what you can do to help improve their performance.
Assertive and motivated employees are highly desirable: they get work done even without being told what to do.
On the other hand, unmotivated employees reduce productivity and even reduce morale. When you can see this in an employee, they may be suffering from external or internal problems.
If it’s something, you can help with, evaluating this factor will help you pinpoint where you can help. If it’s something that’s out of your hands, consider transferring the employee to a more suitable position or letting them go.
Even if the employee isn’t in a leadership position in your company now, it doesn’t mean he can’t be in the future. Evaluating leadership skills is essential to spot those with potential early on, and give them the right challenges to improve those aspects of their character.
Moreover, leadership skills correlate with work effectiveness and being a team player. After all, a good leader always needs to be able to work with their team.
There are multiple ways to evaluate leadership skills, but mostly you can do it through qualitative assessments.
- Evaluate them for instances when they took charge even without being designated
- Discuss workplace instances when the employee was designated to be a leader
- Observe whether they offer encouragement, guidance, and answers to teammates.
Ability to Problem Solve
No matter which industry or job position you end up in, you will inevitably face workplace problems. The mark of good employees is to be able to solve these types of problems with only minimal guidance.
Thus, during the evaluation, discuss with the employee instances where they took charge and solved a problem or discuss hypotheticals to show what they would likely do.
Employees who can problem-solve in high-pressure situations show strong competency and leadership traits. Keep your eye out for these types during your evaluation.
Moreover, problem-solving abilities can also be affected by knowledge and skills. If employees can’t solve issues during crucial moments, you need to examine the possibility of conducting workplace training if you think it’s worth it.
Written and Verbal Communication Skills
Communication skills are fundamental knowledge that all of your employees need to have.
When discussing communication skills, what often comes to mind is verbal communication in the workplace, cooperating correctly, giving a good report, etc.
However, writing skills are also essential no matter what position or industry you’re in. good writing skills are essential because everybody, at some point, needs to write emails, memos, contracts, and more.
Without this basic knowledge, it’s all too easy to appear unprofessional and cause costly miscommunication because of unclear writing.
Thus, evaluating verbal and written communication skills is always a good idea.
Teamwork and Cooperativeness
It’s impossible to function alone when you’re working in a company. You need to work together with your team, partners, supervisors, other departments, etc. if you want to have a fruitful and successful career.
Thus, cooperative employees and natural team players are highly desirable for your outfit.
If you find employees who are having trouble with communication and collaboration, you need to be able to step in and address what might be preventing them from doing so.
Customer and Colleague Feedback
One of the best measures of a person is how other people talk about them and vice versa. Including the feedback of people around the employee is always a good idea; it allows you to gain a fuller picture of the employee’s performance that you can then add to their data.
The most common groups included in customer and colleague feedback are:
- Customers, partners, clients that the employee regularly deals with
- Their direct supervisor
- Other employees, workplace buddies, etc.
Lastly, employees should have the chance to rate themselves according to a set of other, pre-defined criteria.
If you want a complete understanding of the employee’s performance, you need to include the employee’s perspective. Here, performance self-appraisals are reasonable indications of what employees consider their strengths and weaknesses, which you can then use as tools for deeper analysis.
As mentioned earlier in the article, self-reviews are critical tools for discussion.
When employees rate themselves highly, but data shows otherwise, the manager can open a dialogue about what might be the possible causes of this disconnect.
On the other hand, employees rating themselves below their actual performance can have self-confidence issues that HR personnel can help address.
In both scenarios, self-assessments play a considerable role in reconciling employees’ personal perspectives to their actual work performance.
Importance of performance reviews
Knowing the criteria of performance reviews that you’re going to use for your employees’ evaluation is critical if you want to generate a definite plan of action that will help them improve.
But exactly how impactful will these regular performance reviews be?
As a company, we need to always allocate resources to activities that bring the most advantages. In the next section, we will determine just what advantages regular employee performance reviews can bring to your company.
Five benefits of performance reviews
1. Identify, track, and maintain goals
When you regularly check in with your employees, you better grasp their strengths and weaknesses. Regular assessments can help you improve their path by leveling up the areas they excel in and providing the proper intervention in their work areas where they don’t do so well.
It can also help them create more relevant company goals.
With this level of information, you can better guide your employees to the right goals they should be having for their time at work. This way, you can avoid wasting time and resources on ineffective projects and tasks.
You can also assign them to better teams or be more in-tune with their existing team’s relationship dynamic and leverage this knowledge for further improvement.
2. Prevent miscommunications
Managers and supervisors can use these performance review periods to touch base on current instructions.
It’s pretty inevitable for there to be miscommunications in the workplace. When you check in with your employees, you can review their instructions and ensure that they understand what they’re supposed to do. This is crucial, especially when the employee is a new hire.
Performance reviews are also great opportunities to address grievances by helping smooth out any misunderstandings between team members.
3. Keep everyone engaged
Keeping in touch with your employees and providing them with the guidance necessary generates increased employee engagement. When employees are engaged, they are more motivated to work.
Performance reviews are great engagement tools because it makes employees feel seen and recognized. Talking about their performance acknowledges the efforts that they put in to improve and guides their path when they make mistakes.
These actions show that you are invested in their development.
Moreover, your employees are also less likely to put off tasks or projects to the last moment when you frequently bring them up during regular assessments.
4. Take the pressure off year-end performance reviews
If you don’t conduct regular employee assessments, year-end assessments will remain a distant specter that will grow scarier the closer it comes.
Just like how regular quizzes accustoms students to face the pressures of the final exam, regular employee performance reviews can take the pressure of the last performance reviews of the year.
And it’s not just because employees are used to sitting in a chair and talking to a supervisor or manager.
Regular reviews will also help your employees improve. Conducting these reviews regularly will keep them more in-tune about their improvements. If they did their job well, they should already be significantly ahead of their first performance reviews.
Regular reviews let employees see how much they’ve grown, allowing them to face year-end evaluations with confidence.
5. Get insight into how you can be a better manager
Like how your employees improve every time they are assessed, this regular performance review will also enhance your capabilities as a manager.
Having multiple sessions regularly can help you figure out which solutions work best, determine your management style, and even put your finger on the pulse of your workplace culture. Moreover, your logistics and coordination skills will also be challenged every time. Creating a scheduling system for these reviews will be challenging yet insightful.
These are valuable experiences for those who want to manage people as a long-term career.
If you’ve accomplished all the required performance reviews for the year, you will be as ready as your employees to face your year-end review.
Tracking The Right Performance Reviews Criteria For Your Employees This 2022
Conducting employee performance reviews is critical if you want to have a continually-growing company. Thus, you need to measure the right things: know which categories are the best gatherers of information for your company’s subjective cultures.
This article discussed the most common performance reviews criteria being used this year.
If you’ve read this article, you should already be one step closer to designing a comprehensive and highly effective employee performance review system.