Keep an employee file to develop better performance reviews

If you conduct annual employee performance reviews, it can be somewhat challenging to develop the review unless you can remember the things that took place for the past year for the employee you are about to review.

Here is a simple tip that can not only help you create a higher quality employee review, , ,  it will also make it easier and faster.

What a concept, , , better, faster, and easier!

Start by creating a file folder for each employee who reports to you. If you have 12 employees, that’s 12 manila folders.

This will take only a couple of minutes.

Next, put in each folder a sheet of paper with the employee’s name and the current year, , , or the date range by which the next review will cover at the top, , , something like the example below.

Now, you are ready.

At the end of each day, take just a few minutes and think through your day of what took place that is of significance for any of your employees. Things like:

  • Successes and accomplishments
  • Client feedback
  • Coaching sessions
  • Observations

Add a note to the employee’s “Employee Review Notes” sheet in his or her folder so you can remember the event. When you fill up a sheet, add another one.

Get into a habit of dropping things into your employee files that reflect something about an employee’s performance. Things like a note about a nice phone call from a client, , , a mistake the employee makes, , , a positive thing you see the employee take initiative for, , , anything that can tell you later about your employee’s performance.

Believe me, this only takes a few minutes a day, , , or you can spend 10-20 minutes at the end of each week to do it.

The point is that at the end of a year, you aren’t going to remember much of what happened 10 to 12 months ago. You will tend to remember the things that take place in the most recent 60-90 days, , , and that could be good for the employee but it could also be bad. At a minimum, it tends to skew your thoughts toward the end of the performance review period.

You need to consider the entire body of work over the past 12 months, , , not just the most recent months you remember well.

Believe me, , , having these notes when you sit down to develop the employee performance review will be a big time saver and help you develop a much better review for your employee, , , and you will have specific examples to discuss  with him or her.

Not only that, , , I guarantee you the first time you sit down and look at the notes accumulated for an employee will probably shock you. You have never had so much material to work with when developing an employee review.

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