Giving effective performance reviews is an essential job that any manager should be expected to do. We believe this, because according to a Gallup study of 65,672 employees, employees who received feedback on their strengths had a 14.9% lower turnover rate than employees who had no feedback.

Furthermore, since being adopted by large companies such as Western Electric in the 1930s and the U.S. Federal government in the 1950s, performance reviews are now used by practically all businesses to help boost productivity, determine raises and judge individual performance.

But for both employees and their managers, face-to-face performance reviews can be incredibly tense and stressful. As Dick Grote, the author of “How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals”, cautions: “What a performance appraisal requires is for one person to stand in judgment of another. Deep down, it’s uncomfortable.”

Here are 5 tips for managers to help make performance reviews a more enjoyable and effective process for all parties involved.

1. Decide what your aim is for the meeting

While you already know that you’ll be discussing their performance with the employee during the meeting, it’s also a good idea to decide what outcome you want. Decide what message you want the employee to leave with, whether it’s getting them to apply for a new job in the department or improving in a certain area.

2. Focus on positive aspects of their performance

It’s important you spend a considerable amount of time concentrating on the positives aspects of the employee’s performance. No matter how they have performed try to spend more time on the positive aspects than the negative. For employees, positive feedback is incredibly rewarding. “What a good employee wants to hear are things like, ‘You matter around here’ and ‘We appreciate you.'”, explains Author and Harvard Lecturer Sheila Heen, author of “Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well”.

3.Effective performance reviews should be a conversation

Performance reviews shouldn’t be a monologue. If the reviewer is doing all the talking the meeting won’t be very effective. Give the employee the chance to talk, comment on your feedback and ask questions. That way they will feel listened to, part of the process and justly treated. This kind of two-way conversation might also help shed light on some of their behavior.

4. Agree on some post meeting actions

It’s important to agree on concrete actions that both parties will take after the meeting. While the list doesn’t have to be long, the aim is to have a plan with achievable goals for both parties that will help address any problems and further improve positive performance.

5. Monitor employee performance

Last but by no means least, a very effective way to give effective performance reviews is by using employee monitoring software. Software such as KnowIT can be installed onto all your employee’s company devices and can monitor exactly what software and websites each of them use as well as their communications.

It’s an incredibly effective way to get a picture of exactly how and when each employee is working and what they are working on. For each employee, software and websites can also be rated as productive, neutral or un-productive, resulting in ongoing productivity scores.

The valuable information produced, from attendance to time spent working productively is extremely helpful for giving accurate and evidence based performance reviews. To learn more about KnowIT click here.

Have any tips employee performance reviews that you would like to tell us about? Let us know in the comments section below.