When we talk to small business owners about enhancing their company’s efficiency, the discussion inevitably touches on employee performance reviews. This is often a moment of levity, as if we can hear Jerry Seinfeld’s voice, asking “And what’s up with annual performance reviews? Who’s performing? What are we reviewing? Why are they annual?” For most companies, the review is an empty exercise, because it’s viewed as a requirement with unclear goals, rather than as an opportunity to reinforce the company’s values and add to the ethical culture of the company.
Yet, businesses tend not to update the review process because they fear an overhaul might be too disruptive and introduce unnecessary and counterproductive complexities into the process. They’d rather just touch base with the employee, exchange platitudes and agree to maintain the course. But, at Breon & Associates, we believe you can make just a few small adjustments to your review process that will yield dramatic, positive results.
Goals of an employee performance review
If you’ve thought out what you hope to accomplish through a performance review, the process can be very beneficial. You can:
- Give feedback to employees about how the company perceives their job performances
- Counsel and encourage workers on improvements and career development
- Set objectives for the upcoming year
- Create a written record of performance
- Gather data for allocating rewards and opportunities
- Gather data that could later support disciplinary actions or termination
However, the performance review also gives you a priceless opportunity to articulate and reinforce your company’s values and Code of Ethics. By having open, two-way communication, you can showcase your management’s commitment to honesty, candor, respect, emotional support, commitment to quality and loyalty to the company and its workers. Thus, instead of feeling they are on the hot seat, your employees can see their review as an opportunity to offer insights, receive encouragement and feel valued. The result can be greater employee commitment to the company’s mission, which means enhanced productivity and less deviant behavior, such as destruction of company property and fraud.
Here are a few more quick pointers to make your review process more productive:
- Consult the employee’s immediate supervisors in preparation for the review to gather insights that might be valuable.
- Let the employee know ahead of time what you’ll discuss and how long you expect the review to last. Never sandbag an employee or use the review to play the “gotcha” game.
- Paper trails matter. Document what is said, share notes with the employee and allow the employee to respond.
- Schedule follow-ups throughout the year to address concerns raised at the review and the employee’s progress towards the objectives you set.
Contact Breon & Associates in Harrisburg
At Breon & Associates, we are experts in the processes that make businesses more efficient. If you have questions about how you can tweak your performance reviews to make them more productive, we have the answers. With offices in Harrisburg and North Central PA, Breon & Associates provides business, accounting and tax services throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 1-888-516-8476 or 717-273-8626, or contact one of our offices online to schedule an appointment.
415 Market Street, Suite #205
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Camp Hill Office:
3461 Market Street, Ste 101
Camp Hill, PA 17011
901 Dawn Avenue, Suite A
Ephrata, PA 17522
4 Park Plaza, Lower Level