Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Employee Review Tips

If you're not exactly looking forward to completing those annual employee reviews, you're not alone. Managers and employees alike approach this yearly task with varying degrees of eagerness. In fact, only 14 percent of employees say that their performance reviews inspire them to do a better job.

But for many businesses, employee reviews serve as a way to help promote accountability, reinforce an effective performance and set goals for improvement. Here's how to make the most of the employee review process, and transform it from a chore into a helpful tool.

Clipboard with a employee evaluation form attached.

Set the Stage for the Review

For many employees (and managers too), the annual performance review can feel uncomfortable and "out of the blue." After all, if the review season only comes around once a year, it means you're interacting in a very different manner than on a typical work day.

Setting the stage for reviews in advance goes a long way toward removing that awkward feeling. Several months before the review, sit down with employees for a performance planning session. By making your expectations clear from the start — and integrating performance goals — you'll avoid springing any surprises on employees at their annual review.

A couple weeks before the review, ask employees to list top accomplishments that they're most proud of over the past year. This helps employees engage with the review process in a positive way, and refreshes your memory.

Offer Regular Feedback

Providing employees with regular feedback — even when done informally — helps nip any potential problems. Setting up weekly check-ins or simply speaking with employees on a day-to-day basis helps employees work on performance issues before they get worse.

Plus, regular check-ins help employees grow comfortable with the review process. You'll be used to providing feedback, and they'll be used to talking about their goals and " improvement" areas with you.

Provide an Honest Assessment

Approaching employee reviews with honesty allows you to provide feedback that's actually constructive and that employees can use. However, a combination of honesty and tact is key.

For a solid employee who's putting in the effort, there's no need to bring up every little issue. But if an employee isn't performing up to their potential, there's no need to tiptoe around it. In fact, not addressing problems doesn't do employees any favors, as they won't know where to focus their efforts.

Document Examples Through the Year

Managers shouldn't rely solely on their memories when completing employee reviews. Instead, take notes throughout the year to document performance.

But not just any notes will do; rather, document examples that clearly illustrate an employee's performance, both good and bad. Tangible examples of specific performance issues will underscore review results.

Adopt a Motivational Approach

You want a performance review to leave an employee feeling motivated to do better, so they can continue to grow and improve. Structuring the review meeting to encourage conversation is key.

By asking questions, you can solicit employee feedback and encourage them to take ownership of their success.

The performance review can be a useful tool, rather than a chore. For managers, a focus on regularly providing honest feedback can help eliminate unpleasant surprises when review day rolls around.

A group of Encompass agents

Customer Centric. Agent Focused.

Our simple, tailored approach to coverage offers powerful benefits to you and your clients.

Become an Agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK