Performance Reviews - Its Objectives and Criterions

Review of performance once or twice in a year provides an objective or a sense of focus on the key performance or development issues. Performance review meetings form the basis for enabling both the managers and the individuals to positively explore ways for improving the performance in the near future and to identify solutions for resolving the issues which come in the way of attainment of predetermined performance standards.

Some of the crucial objectives of performance reviews are as follows:

  • Performance planning
  • Employee motivation and empowerment
  • Learning and Development
  • Acts as a two way channel for communication for discussing the roles, expectations, relationships and work problems.

Performance review meetings should focus on two major areas: Firstly on performance improvement measures and secondly, the meeting should be forward looking in nature rather than backward looking. The main problems which normally arise during the period of performance reviews are:

  • Identification of performance measures and the criterions for evaluating performance.
  • Problems in collection of genuine performance related evidences.
  • Manager’s bias.
  • Conflicts between the reviewers and the people being reviewed.
  • Defensive behavior from the people under review as a response to some criticisms.

The above discussed problems can be checked by adopting the following measures:

  • Ensuring that the criterions for evaluating performance covers the mutually agreed quantifiable objectives, competencies based on role analysis and properly laid performance standards.
  • Monitor performance on a continuous basis throughout the year against the agreed objectives, behavioral dimensions and the performance standards.
  • Adopt measures to minimize bias.
  • Train managers in building positivism in the entire process and in providing constructive criticism and feedback.
  • Briefing the people involved in the process regarding the benefits from this process to both the parties for reducing the defensive behaviors on the part of the employees under review.

The golden rules for conducting a performance review meeting:

  • Managers should be prepared by referring to a list of objectives and their notes on performance throughout the year.
  • Sufficient time should be provided for allowing a full discussion.
  • Building a friendly, supportive and an informal environment.
  • Providing a constructive feedback.
  • Use Time productively and constructively.
  • Praises should be used by the managers for some special achievements.
  • The individuals should be allowed to do most of the talking.
  • Self Assessments should be invited.
  • Only performance related issues should be discussed and not the personality.
  • Analysis of performance should be encouraged.
  • End the review meeting on a positive note agreeing upon measurable objectives and a plan of action.

Guiding principles of a review meeting:

  • Achievements should be discussed in relation with the objectives and the performance development plans.
  • Assess the level of competence achieved by the individual which is defined in their roles.
  • Assess the extent to which the individual’s behavior is in accordance with the organizational values.
  • Identify the problems involved in the achievement of objectives or the performance standards and also establish the reasons for such problems.
  • Discuss about the individual’s working relationships with his/her managers, colleagues and also the subordinates.
  • Develop agreeable actions for resolving those problems.
  • Review and revise performance standards if required.
  • Develop a personal development plan and agree upon a performance plan for the next review period.

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