Performance Reviews Essential to Employee Success
Business owners who also function as small business HR departments likely will say performance appraisals are one of their least favorite aspects of their jobs. Although no one likes to be the bearer of bad news or criticism, job reviews are an important part of maintaining a fair and legal workplace. When taken in a positive light, they can be used to keep members of the sales staff on-goal or to offer valuable employees additional training opportunities. Here are some of the reasons timely performance appraisals are so crucial to small business HR success.
Make Them a Priority
Confrontation is not fun for most people, so managers might be inclined to let a brief discussion about performance failings suffice as a warning for certain employees. But this type of casual approach can have a bad outcome if the worker ends up being terminated. Performance appraisals make workplace criticism ï and praise ï more official. Having issues written down not only make them more real, it also allows managers to deal with problems with a level of detachment that can be helpful in small business settings where the employees are also friends. Plus, when a manager wants to offer a raise or other award to a key employee, having a review that indicates strong performance will be vital.
Keep Things Official
Owners who have to perform small business HR duties can save time and hassle by keeping up with regularly scheduled reviews. By writing down concerns and then discussing them in performance appraisals, less time is spent rehashing them in the workplace, which can be a distraction. If an employee needs to be on a performance improvement plan, having everything documented in a review will help streamline the process. There should be no surprises during reviews, however. If a manager has had a problem with employee performance in the past, he or she should have addressed it right away. No employee wants to learn in an appraisal that he or she has been doing things wrong for a month and no one said anything. If shortcomings end up in termination, reviews that track a history of performance problems will be crucial if legal proceedings result.
Try to Be Positive
Even if an appraisal contains criticism, a small business HR manager or owner should try to keep the discussion on a positive track. He or she should let a struggling employee know the company will work with him or her to improve through training, mentoring or more time on the job. Employees who are upset with the comments in their reviews should be given the opportunity to respond in writing, even if that doesn’t change the actual outcome of the performance ranking. Appraisals allow all employees to be treated equally according to the performance metrics of the company, regardless whether they are male or female, young or old. This is another reason timely reviews are so important; if a small business HR manager critiques a worker in an appraisal but doesn’t deliver it for six months, that is a half a year when the worker could have been improving but wasn’t.
Regular worker reviews also are vital when it comes to legal concerns. Termination will go a lot more smoothly if there is documentation of poor performance. If a small business HR manager ever feels uncertain about comments written in the review, he or she should run the issue by a lawyer to make sure employment laws are being followed. Companies should require employees to sign their reviews after they have been delivered. Doing so does not mean they agree, it only means they’ve read the document. Again, they should be allowed to add a rebuttal if they want. Another key legal issue to document is whether the company offered reasonable accommodation to an employee who qualified for it. If, despite the accommodation, the worker is fired, the business needs to be able to show how it tried to set the employee up for job success.
Serving in the small business HR manager role can be difficult and awkward. But it is important that performance appraisals be delivered regularly. Otherwise, workers may be slower to improve, less responsive to feedback, and more likely to be terminated due to poor performance in the long run.
In addition to learning how to use small business HR practices to keep performance appraisals on track, you can learn how to make solid hiring decisions and improve your companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide.