Employee performance reviews can be valuable tools to help your manufacturing operation be more successful. However they must be done regularly and with adequate forethought or they can do more harm than good. Here are a few tips that can make the review process more beneficial for both you and your employees.
Let’s face it: Most of us don’t look forward to preparing and conducting employee reviews. That’s why we end up procrastinating and often go into the reviews ill prepared. This is a disservice to our own operations and the people who work for us. So put the review times on your calendar well in advance and set aside sufficient time to give serious thought to what you’re going to say.
In between regularly scheduled reviews, make sure you keep track of both positive and negative events as they occur. Jot down a quick note in the employee’s file when they do something above and beyond, or if there is a problem. By doing so your review will be fair and accurate.
Never compare one employee to another. It doesn’t work with siblings and it won’t work in your shop. Treat each person as the individual they are and rate them according to the goals and standards you’ve set for them. Of course, this also means you need to make sure that they understand precisely what you expect and the criteria by which they will be judged.
Keep your cool. Some employees may strongly disagree with your assessment of their performance and try to provoke an argument. Don’t take the bait. Rather, present your facts calmly and professionally, and make clear your expectations for the future and the consequences of noncompliance.
When addressing issues like excessive absences or tardiness, try to frame criticisms in terms of the employee’s behavior, not who they are personally. Assure the employee that you know he or she is a good, capable person, but that their behavior is unacceptable and must change.
Of course, we shouldn’t wait until the scheduled review to praise good work and confront deficiencies or problems with our employees. By doing so on a daily basis and keeping notes the annual review process can be one of the easiest management tasks of the year.