3 Crucial Performance Review Tips for First Time Managers

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 4,2019
Engagedly
PODCAST

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

There are many things that can be terrifying for first-time managers, such as managing people, sharing feedback but one of the most terrifying things might just be performance reviews.

For many first-time managers, they have plenty of experience being on the employee side of things. However, it can be disorienting to be on the other side. It can also be anxiety-inducing, especially when you are the bearer of bad news or have to share some particularly harsh feedback. All this stress is heightened especially when the first time a manager chooses to have an honest heart to heart is during a performance review.

Here are 3 crucial tips that can help first-time managers navigate the rocky world of performance reviews.

Keep in mind the real purpose of performance reviews – they are not a review of past performance, rather they are a projection for the future.

Set expectations for goals and performance from the very start

This prevents any unfortunate surprises on either end. At the beginning of the year, set goals and expectations with your employees. This way, they have a guide for the year ahead and know what kind of results they need to achieve. And this way, you know what they are working on and don’t feel like they are off doing something on their own.

Also read: How To Introduce OKRS To Your Team In 4 Simple Steps

The above advice is for when managers and employees are both able to kick off a new financial year together. In some circumstances, this isn’t the case. Managers might come in half-way through the year as a new replacement or even later. In cases like those, it does not make sense to reinvent the wheel and start from the beginning. Instead, talk to the employee and find out what they are working on. View their goal progress and ask for their feedback on how they are performing. It would be even better if you could talk to their previous manager to get their feedback as well. This way, both you and the employee are on track to review their performance at the end of the year.

Share feedback throughout the year

Feedback is important. Don’t skimp on sharing it under any circumstances. Continuous feedback is a great tool to improve employee performance, and this tip is especially relevant for first-time managers.

Also read: 6 Tips Giving Effective Employee Feedback

By sharing feedback throughout the year, both employees and managers are creating a connected loop where they both know what is happening. By sharing feedback continuously, managers also need to understand that this includes dealing with any performance issues as and when they come. Don’t wait till the very end to address any issues. Tackle them as soon as they appear. Sometimes, issues are not evident right away to employees. By tackling them right away, the employee is able to course correct.

Maintain documentation through the year

Don’t rely on memory alone to get through a performance review. Maintaining documentation about an employee’s performance, their strengths, and weaknesses, their accomplishments and weaknesses, etc helps a performance review run more smoothly.

This way, you can also use examples to illustrate your point better. This tip also has the added effect of showing your employee that you actually have been monitoring their performance and have been taking note of what they are doing.


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Author
Srikant Chellappa
President/CEO and Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.

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