In golf, as in any business, providing timely feedback to employees on their performance is vital to the growth and success they may attain within your organization. While methods of conducting these performance reviews may differ from company to company, there are several universally-accepted principles and guidelines regarding the best ways to converse with employees on such important topics as performance reviews, salary negotiations, or performance improvement plans. The tips provided here may make your next meeting run smoother and be more effective than ever before.
The Benefits of Employee Reviews
Sometimes awkward and uncomfortable, employee reviews are a necessary evil, and frankly speaking, there’s nothing evil about them. Whether it’s the individuals at the table or the company as a whole, everyone usually benefits from employee reviews. Employees learn what’s expected of them, while employers help improve their business by fostering a more efficient team. When it comes to employee reviews, growth is a benefit usually afforded by both parties. In addition to the business side of the conversation, job satisfaction is a topic that should also be broached in these sessions. Ensuring job satisfaction and employee happiness will go a long way in increasing your employee-retention.
Employees can sometimes misjudge the quality of the work they put forth, and worse, the effort they provide their employers. An employee self-evaluation gives staff the opportunity to sit back and truly search their souls to answer the question, “Am I giving 100% to meet or even exceed ?”. This contemplation prepares them for an employee review meeting that is based on realistic output and genuine feedback, ideally leading to a clearer picture going forward.
Prepare Feedback Ahead of Time
Employers should do their homework prior to employee review meetings. All thoughts and feedback of each employee session should be composed in advance and done so with only that employee in mind. Don’t compare employee A to employee B – just consider whether each individual is meeting the standard set by the organization. Showing up prepared will also ensure that all vital points are addressed, and nothing is missed, producing the need for a follow-up conversation.
Tips on Conducting Reviews
Sharing Performance Review Format
Employees should not only understand what’s expected of them but how they will be evaluated. It is an important pre-meeting step to share the performance review format so there are no surprises or roadblocks to a truly meaningful exchange of feedback and ideas. Employees should understand that performing at an average, yet satisfactory, level will be acknowledged as such, and that to truly excel in the organization, a superior level of production is expected.
Preparing for a Discussion
Employee reviews should not be a lecture or a scolding – they should include two-way conversation that is open and honest, but professional and productive. The employer’s appraisal of the employee should be discussed in detail, and not simply handed over for the staff member to peruse on his or her own. A conversation should be done on the employee’s performance as well as on his thoughts and feelings about the company, his department and his supervisor.
Employers should request feedback or peer reviews from co-workers who work closely with the employee. Having the tangible employee productivity results, employer appraisals and feedback, and input from colleagues of the staff member in question, you have a well-rounded account of how this individual is doing his or her job, and what steps may be needed for further training, discussion, or even discipline. This information should be shared with the employee prior to the meeting so he can review it without the pressure of his manager or supervisor across the table from him. He can then prepare his own thoughts and rebuttal to comments (positive or negative) specified in the review.
One of the worst outcomes that could come from an employee review is the lack of clarity and closure. Employers must be clear in their message and in their expectations, or employees will be unsure where they stand and how to proceed. Being as specific as possible in goals and expectations will often lessen any chance of this very unfortunate outcome. Also, having documentation that backs up your assessment of employees will also diffuse a potentially volatile situation. When it comes to setting goals, make sure they are measurable and have a timeframe by which one’s assessment will be based.
Understanding that performance appraisals should help create a highly-effective and efficient team, highlighting the positive aspects of an employee’s performance will go much further in producing the desired staff than a discussion full of negative statements and condescending conversation. For employees who are already performing well, discuss steps that can be taken to continue their growth in your organization. For those individuals with greater room for improvement, construct a plan for additional education or training that will help them be more productive and a greater asset to the team.
Set Future Goals
Staying positive is important, but we’re all adults after all. Having the sometimes-uncomfortable conversation about an employee’s poor performance is one of those duties that most managers and supervisors approach with trepidation. But it has to be done. Once the conversation has concluded and constructive criticism has been provided, it is time to look forward to a brighter future. Collaborating with employees in establishing their future goals demonstrates that you are on their side – you want them to succeed because that means the business is better for it. Having shared a potentially uncomfortable moment, ending the meeting with a new vision for the future leaves the employee with a more positive feeling as he or she departs the review session. Ideally, this employee engagement will motivate employees to perform at a higher level from that point on.
Hold Multiple Reviews
The overall message and outcome of an annual employee review should never come as a surprise to the staff member. Employers should provide feedback on employee performance on a regular basis; whether that is weekly, monthly, quarterly, or as warranted, there should be no surprises at one’s annual review. Having these conversations on a more regular basis will also help the employee turn the tide on a lacklustre performance and get him or her the training and assistance needed to improve.
These tips have been proven effective in conducting employee reviews across various sectors of business. The organization and operation of a golf facility are often no different from a retail store, insurance company, or medical practice – there is work to be done, a level of expectation on the part of the employer, and goals to be achieved. The effort put forth by employees is most often the determining factor in assessing these measures. Periodic performance reviews help ensure everyone is on the same page, and the output of each employee meets or exceeds the standards set as acceptable by the organization’s management team and Human Resources department. Communication is often the panacea that cures most ails – when it comes to employee reviews, increased communication, honest communication, and productive communication will help reduce negative reviews, buoying any organization’s bottom line.
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