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3 Tactics For Effective Employee Performance Evaluation

3 min read
Employee Experience
3 Tactics For Effective Employee Performance Evaluation

Good employee performance reviews catalyze everything from leadership and decision-making to collaboration and innovation. Here’s 3 tactics to make them great. 

It’s time for your organization’s formal performance review process to kick off again.

Are you and your managers ready?

Successful performance reviews are more than just giving employees feedback about the job they’ve done since the last one. When done right, performance reviews can spur organizational growth and stimulate employee engagement.

Here are three things you should always do:

Custom Reviews for Your Employees

Performance reviews, when done effectively, are all about knowing your people. It shouldn’t be a “standard procedure.”

Often managers approach employee performance reviews with focus on giving feedback. But giving feedback is only a small portion of what a successful employee performance review should constitute.

Performance reviews are an opportunity to:

  • Ensure the employee’s goals are aligned to their personal values and the overall organizational and company goals
  • Realign the employee’s role within the organization
  • Collaborate with the employee to find solutions for challenges

Because each employee is an individual, and each role is unique within each organization, performance reviews will never be perfectly repeatable formulas. Each one must be tailored to the employee and to the organization’s current demands.

Train Your Managers 

Managers need training in how to perform successful performance reviews. In fact, they need ongoing training.

Four mistakes we commonly see managers make during performance reviews are:

  1. They don’t prepare. Managers should take the time to think through each individual performance review and prepare for the session with the employee. But managers should also ensure employees are preparing for their performance review as well. When both manager and employee are prepared, the process goes much smoother.
  2. They indulge in small talk. Small talk has its place in work relationships – but a performance review isn’t it. Managers should come prepared to be professional. This exercise is directly related to the position a manager has within the company, and should be a constructive use of everyone’s time.
  3. They look for only the best in people. No one is perfect! A manager should also look for areas where the employee can improve. A performance review should be balanced, fair, constructive, and above all, honest.
  4. They neglect to summarize the results. A manager must take the time to write up a summary of the review and provide the employee with clear documentation about what steps they are to take before their next review. Outline what the employee’s contribution was and should be going forward, how the company will contribute and what the manager’s role will be.

Make Response Times Matter

Performance review results can easily get skewed when there is lag time in the process. From self-assessment to conversation with the manager to receiving a summary of the results, each step of the performance review should be done in quick succession and on a schedule that the employee has been made aware of.

Also related to response time, performance reviews should not be a once-a-year process. Managers should be trained to provide employees with feedback – formal and informal – regularly throughout the year. This will help them identify problems quicker and deal with them before they escalate.


Successful employee performance reviews help catalyze employee engagement, ensure that the right people are in the right roles and identify issues before they become big problems.

The tips in this post are all relatively simple things that can apply through your employee feedback collection process to make sure you get a genuine pulse of your employees.

The trick is to be consistent. Get in the habit of listening to employees regularly, and you will catalyze better employee engagement on a regular basis.

Read more about 360 Feedback Surveys.


Guide for high employee engagement

Find the 4 driving forces of engagement split up into 33 solid methods that you can use to be a better leader and raise your team’s performance.

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