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How can Managers Prepare for Performance Reviews?

Conducting performance reviews is one of the essential components of HR processes to analyze an employee’s performance throughout the year. Performance reviews provide an opportunity to managers to give feedback to their employees and serve as a grounding framework for setting employee performance and development objectives. However, performance reviews are not conducted the right way in some organizations, which gives managers a hard time. 

The main problem here is, performance reviews are conducted on an annual basis in some organizations. The problem with annual performance reviews is that there is a lack of communication and progress dialogue for employees. Often, performance reviews are very past oriented and objectively looks only at the employee’s performance for the year. The key here is to bring in meticulous planning that would serve the objectives of the business in the future. 

As a manager, here are few ways you can prepare for a performance review: 

Performance expectations

As a manager, you need to effectively set employee expectations to manage and lead your team. Setting expectations will provide you and your employees clarity to understand that you are working towards the same goal. When you set your expectations clearly, you are laying the groundwork for your employees for their performance in the future. It enhances your managerial effectiveness since you can communicate everything clearly.

Your expectations become guidelines for your employees, and they will be able to structure everything accordingly. In a way you are empowering them to be accountable for those expectations.

Ongoing feedback 

Another way of preparing for performance reviews is by inculcating a culture of continuous feedback and communication. Continuous feedback mechanism helps you to guide your employees in a systematic manner. This is because you can discuss with your employees their strengths and weaknesses. You must train your employees regarding the continuous feedback process because employees need to learn how to give and receive feedback to and from others. Feedback must aim to develop all aspects of employee performance. 

360 Degree reviews 

The 360 Degree feedback has become a popular management approach that gives employees a more holistic view about their performance. Instead of just giving feedback to your employees from your side, you could solicit feedback from employees in the form of self-feedback and peer-evaluation. More than that, you could always elicit feedback from external stakeholders such as customers, vendors and mentors.  

360 Degree feedback gives a more holistic understanding of employee performance taking into consideration all their competencies. For instance, at the managerial level, you might only look at an employee’s productivity, but their peers would rate them based on leadership and team collaboration. 360 Degree reviews turn performance reviews into a robust process because your team will then be able to develop its strengths and weaknesses. 


This is an extremely important aspect to conduct performance reviews because how else are you going to know what your employees did. Before conducting performance reviews, it is important for you to make sure that all data related to employee’s personal, professional and personal information is maintained in one place. Obviously, you would not go around creating folders for employee and review those records during performance reviews. 

This is where a performance management software comes handy, because with the help of a PMS software, you can get access to multiple reports on the employee’s performance at the click of a single button. A PMS software helps you to automate and streamline your performance reviews in a systematic and periodic fashion. Therefore, it will solve half of your evaluation process and your employees would not be totally nervous and clueless about their appraisals. 

Align goals with company objectives 

We have discussed earlier how setting expectations can do wonders for you and your employees. Employee goal management is often the first step towards conducting performance reviews. Because what are we measuring? The answer is GOALS. When you set goals for your employees, it is always better to tie it up with the objectives of the business. As I mentioned earlier, performance reviews must not just seek to objectively evaluate employee performance, but also achieve the greater good.  

When you assign futuristic goals for your employees, it is bound to motivate them and perform better because now they have realized how they contribute to the growth of the organization. This makes them have a sense of belonging to the business and improves team collaboration which is again your objective as a manager. After your performance reviews, develop action plans keeping in mind the vision of the business. 


As a manager, you have the power and responsibility to manage your employee’s performance ensure their development and business success. Utilize your role effectively and acknowledge your employees’ contributions by giving them meaningful feedback. You need to give them a sense of direction to help them grow. The key is to be prepared. 

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