How to carry out staff reviews

Blogs 3 Nov 2020

Staff reviews are a critical part of your plan for not only helping staff grow and improve but giving them a platform for feedback. Our guide covers what to keep in mind when carrying out reviews of your staff.

Developing staff and helping them to grow and improve is important. As is giving them an open platform to voice their aspirations and any concerns they might have.

When to hold them

Your reviews need to take place at  frequent intervals, typically this is every 12 months although it could be more often, or at the request of a staff member.

If you have new employees on a probationary period, it is often a good idea to have smaller reviews during their induction and when probation ends to review their progress and see how they’re settling in.

The whole point of a review is to take the time to assess how a staff member is performing and also to provide an opportunity for a staff member to  provide feedback. With new staff, this is especially important as it allows you to get a new perspective on your business.

What to cover

Every review will be specific to each member of staff. Their role within a business and their development will be unique to them, meaning that no two reviews will be the same.

With that in mind, your reviews should follow a structure. This helps to organise your review and help both you and the staff member prepare in advance.

Reviewing an employee

The first part of an employee review should be an evaluation. Keep in mind:

  • Successes
  • Failures
  • Areas of improvement
  • How their training or development is progressing

You should highlight how you see each of these areas from the business’ perspective and then allow your employee a chance to respond. They might think there are other areas where they have excelled, or have other ideas of how they could improve their skillset.

This should be an assessment of how the employee has worked since their previous review, taking into account times when they have worked well and other times where they could focus on improving. This could tie into the training and development that you, and they, feel is needed.

Employee concerns

The second part of your employee review is an opportunity for your staff to discuss their views and issues with you in an open forum.

This is something that should be taken seriously, not only does it allow a staff member to help you understand what they hope to gain from working with you, but it also enables you to uncover any potential issues within your business. This could be anything from processes which could be streamlined, to ways of improving productivity.

This could include:

  • Training they want to complete
  • Areas for improvement – such as salary, processes or business structure
  • Progression

The whole point of this portion of the review is to give staff an open floor to voice any concerns or aspirations with regards to their role. This can give you a number of points to take away from the review and work on in order to ensure both you and your staff member see effective changes that benefit the ways in which you work.

After the review

Once the review is finished, it is your job to come up with a course of action. Either a progression plan for a staff member or feedback based on the issues they have raised, outlining what is going to happen.

This could be anything from a change in how a particular aspect of the business works, a change in an administrative process or a shift in the responsibilities that a particular staff member has.

You should also look at recurring issues across all of your staff reviews. There might be a specific problem that keeps appearing. For example, lines of communication between staff and management might need improvement, or a process such as booking leave might be problematic and need simplifying.

A man and a woman stand in a factory looking at a piece of paper


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