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5 tips for good performance reviews

When reviewing performance, you might want to review the review first. According to Workhuman, just 49% of employees think their performance assessments are accurate. Furthermore, even fewer are motivated by them. This is a problem, because appreciating workers on their merits or weaknesses – and getting them to feel as if you do – can be a significant factor in retention. If they don't believe you're giving good, relevant advice while celebrating their achievements, people may want to work elsewhere.

That's why we want to suggest a few improvements to reviewing performance. Any logistics business can take these and run with them.

1. Host one-on-ones every month

One of the worst habits you can fall into with yearly or bi-yearly performance reviews is letting this become the only time you spend with an employee across a table. Regular one-to-ones are essential for giving more casual, personal feedback. You can ask them how they're feeling about the job, what they like or dislike about ongoing projects, and whether they've used their time wisely recently.

2. Zone in on efforts and results, rather than personality

We're all different, and interpersonal relationships are very subjective. Some things are much harder for people to change than others – how friendly we are, for instance, or the social conventions we can miss. Fair performance assessments focus on what someone has done or could do better, rather than traits that may irritate us. However, you can certainly bring these up if they harm teamwork, output or compliance.

3. Have a separate talk about salary

Eager to discuss compensation? The worker probably is too. But it's advisable to keep money out of the picture while discussing performance. As B.J. Gallagher from the American Management Association explains, "You will get no coaching benefits from such a conversation. Employees will appear to be paying attention, but really they're just waiting to hear the magic number. Money talks – all else is lost." Instead, arrange for a follow-up next week, where the agenda is firmly about reward or negotiation.

4. Give the role to managers with the most contact

It makes sense to let leaders who are familiar with your employees, every day, deliver the verdict on their strengths or space for improvement. Chat with these figures individually and do a pre-review: Does their sense of the teammate match up with what you've seen first-hand? If you'd rather be in the room, ask managers to host the review with you. 

5. Outline the criteria – and keep records

A sense of injustice can seep into the job when people don't quite know what they're being measured against. So consider being more specific with your assessment criteria. Is it a number of packages shipped? Food waste prevented? A clean record of temperature checks? If you're running a delivery service too, it could mean drop offs or conservative fuel demands. Whatever the metrics are, try explaining them more closely during and after onboarding, then maintaining records through the year.

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