7 Tips for Your Next Employee Performance Evaluations

December 20, 2023

How to Conduct Employee Performance Reviews


Employee performance reviews provide an opportunity for you and your employees to assess the effectiveness of their overall performance within your company. In the following guide, we give five compelling reasons why employee performance evaluations are important for your childcare business and offer seven practical tips for conducting effective employee performance reviews. Keep reading to find out more. 

Why Conduct Employee Performance Reviews?

Employee performance evaluations provide several key benefits to your Early Childhood Education organization:

Improve Overall PerformanceFirst, reviews provide an opportunity for employers to evaluate employee performance over a specific period of time in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. Employers and employees can work together to identify areas where the employee excels and address areas where improvements are needed. Managers and employees can then create a plan for improving overall performance moving forward. 

Identify Opportunities for PromotionSecondly, reviews give employers a practical way to determine where employees stand in terms of fulfilling the expectations of their job position. Employers can then identify opportunities to give raises and promotions as appropriate. The employee performance review provides a way for employers to gather concrete data and metrics on employee performance to support the decision to award raises and promotions. 

Increase Employee EngagementThirdly, reviews offer a chance for employers to engage with employees in a two-way conversation about their individual roles and how they are fulfilling the requirements of their position. Inviting an opportunity for dialogue and mutual feedback gives employees a sense of ownership over their present and future prospects within the company. Creating a positive and communicative review experience encourages employee engagement. 

Cultivate Employee LoyaltyIn addition, reviews can help employers cultivate employee loyalty by giving them an opportunity to make employees feel seen, heard, and understood. Employers can commend employees on their efforts, reward them for their hard work, listen to their concerns and complaints, and value their thoughts and opinions in personal one-on-one conversations. Employees who feel valued and who believe their employer is invested in their growth are more likely to improve performance and stay with the company. 

Help Recognize Training NeedsFinally, reviews provide an opportunity for employers to identify areas where additional training is needed. Employee reviews can reveal both individual and collective shortcomings in knowledge and skills, giving employers an opportunity to fill in the gaps with more training, as needed. Training can increase overall performance on both an individual and teamwide basis. 

Now let’s take a look at seven practical tips for conducting effective employee performance reviews. 

Prepare for the Review Ahead of Time.

Be sure to prepare for each employee performance review in advance. Take time to reference documents from last year’s annual performance review, as well as any progress notes from additional formal reviews and informal check-ins throughout the year. Compile your thoughts and feedback ahead of time, fill out the evaluation form in advance, and prepare a framework for the review meeting. When you are well prepared for employee performance reviews, you can be sure to hit all important points and help your employees feel valued for the careful consideration you gave to their performance review. 

Consider Giving the Employee a Copy of the Review in Advance. 

You may want to consider giving employees a copy of the evaluation form or written evaluation ahead of the review meeting. While not mandatory, providing a copy of the review forms in advance may help employees process your feedback and think about any questions, comments, or concerns they want to address during the meeting. This approach can help make your conversation more productive and can give both you and your employee a framework for discussing their job performance. 

Focus on the Positive, but Acknowledge the Negative.

Do your best to strike a balance between highlighting the employee’s strengths and addressing their weaknesses throughout the performance review. Open the meeting with praise and gratitude for specific aspects of the job in which they excel. Move the conversation forward tactfully to acknowledge areas where you see room for improvement. Understand the value of bolstering employee confidence and morale by appreciating a job well done, yet also know the importance of recognizing shortcomings in order to work together to address them.  

Approach Review Meetings as a Two-Way Conversation.

Think of the review meeting as a two-way conversation between you and your employee instead of a one-way lecture from you to them. Give your thoughts and feedback about the employee’s overall job performance, but also be willing to listen to their thoughts and feedback about anything related to their position, your team, or the company that may be important to them. By approaching the review meeting as a two-way conversation, you show your employees you value their thoughts and opinions. Asking open ended questions that encourage self-reflection about their job, performance, strengths and weaknesses, career goals, and so on, can be a great way to encourage a two-way conversation. 

Keep Records Throughout the Year.

Document positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and shortcomings throughout the year. When review time comes around, you will have an easier time providing a complete and accurate evaluation and remembering the points you want to cover in the review meeting. Consider keeping these records in each of your employee’s personnel files. 

Check in at Regular Intervals. 

In addition to conducting annual employee performance reviews, make sure you check in at regular intervals throughout the year as well. Whether you decide to do performance reviews on a quarterly or semi-annual basis or initiate ongoing one-on-one conversations and more informal evaluations at different points throughout the year is up to you. Once a year is too infrequent to touch base with your employees about items that need to be addressed on both sides, so prioritize open communication and ongoing check-ins to keep things running smoothly for all. 

Follow up. 

Finally, after the employee performance reviews, be sure to follow up. If you and your employee made a plan to tackle some areas that need improvement, then make sure you meet again to evaluate the progress made toward individual goals. Following up with performance reviews demonstrates your willingness to work with your employees on achieving mutual objectives and shows them you care about the success of your company, as well as their professional success.

We hope this guide proves helpful for your next employee performance reviews!

Honest Buck is committed to helping childcare business owners build a solid financial foundation and grow a more profitable business. 

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