Take the dread out of annual reviews
Annual reviews have been drawing fire lately. Here’s how to make them better:
√ Encourage self-reviews. In advance, ask each person for his accomplishments the past year and goals for the coming year.
√ Ask how you can do better. Ask what you can do to help them perform better, especially through tools or training. “Replace my 7-year-old computer,” was one embarrassing and justified answer. Little fixes can make a big difference.
√ Don’t wait to discuss issues. Keep employees abreast of how they are doing, so there will be no surprises.
√ Don’t dither. Conduct the review within a week of your employees’ anniversary date.
√ Put cash on the table. If someone has made an outstanding contribution, give him a bonus or an advance on the coming year’s earnings.
√ Be flexible about regular work hours or telework days. It’s an especially good perk without hurting productivity.
— Adapted from People Tools for Business, Alan C. Fox, SelectBooks Inc.