Friday, November 12, 2010

Performance Review Time

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. It's time to give and receive performance reviews. But while most people dread that time--and since it's usually tied to bonuses and raises, that's totally understandable--it should be a time where an employee can reflect on their progress from the previous year and managers and Human Resources can access an employee's year-to-year performance AND development.

The development aspect of it can be the most important part of the process. It is important to look at what happened in the past year but other than compensation or layoff purposes, it's all information of what's already happened. What can be just as important--or more important in many cases--are the development growth planned to build on the the current year's performances for next year and beyond. Since the goal is to retain most of your employees and make sure they perform to the highest capabilities, the development plan for the future--and employees goals being aligned with that plan--is vital to make sure that you meeting your overall corporate goals.

And that's why goal planning should always be tied into the performance review. That isn't to say that there needs to be punishment for not meeting goals or great rewards for exceeding them, but it is important to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction. That way, when the actual performance review takes place, the employees next-year development plan can be ironed out more easily. Employees would go from fearing reprimand to wondering what they needed to incorporate into their own planning for the next year. In the end, if their goals are tied to the company's goals, then they can actually feel like they're making a difference--which makes performance reviews just a little more palatable.

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