Skip to content

Employee Reviews: Why they matter AND how to do them well

Welcome, fellow professionals, to the world of employee reviews!  Now, some of you may have read that first line (or just the title of this blog, for that matter) and...

Welcome, fellow professionals, to the world of employee reviews! 

Now, some of you may have read that first line (or just the title of this blog, for that matter) and started slooowly…backing…away…

If that’s you, we get it. And we can almost guarantee that if the concept of employee reviews aka “performance reviews” makes you feel a little squirmy, you are not alone. Unfortunately, there are many stories out there of team members working for companies where employee reviews were either terribly boring, intimidating, unorganized, and/or flat-out unhealthy. 

But hey, you’re still here, which means that even if you’re reading these initial sentences with one eye closed, you’re at least slightly interested in hearing what we have to share today. 

We’ve spent some time considering WHY employee reviews get a pretty bad rep, especially since the way we do them here at Elevate is actually enjoyable. After speaking transparently with a handful of professionals, we learned that the success/failure of employee reviews all comes down to how it makes the person “being reviewed” feel. 

And before you start imagining employees on your team who are “obviously” going to feel discouraged after a review based on their not-so-great performance, we PROMISE there are ways to still provide constructive feedback that can actually have the opposite effect - leaving said team member feeling supported, challenged (in a good way), and motivated to increase their level of performance. 

You see, we believe that rather than leaving employees feeling deflated, misunderstood, unclear, or frustrated, employee reviews should empower team members to become even more dedicated and connected to their roles and company than they were before. 

Employee reviews (done well) are incredibly valuable for MANY reasons, including: 

  • Building a deeper connection and TRUST between leaders and employees
  • Providing clarity which, honestly, there can never be too much of 
  • Encouraging employees in the ways they are crushing it
  • Challenging employees in their opportunities for growth and improvement 
  • Empowering both leaders and employees to stay committed to the vision of the company 

In the rest of this blog, we’ll unpack some helpful insights (which we’ve only learned through experience) for how to facilitate employee reviews in a way that is truly LIFEGIVING and (enhancing to your company culture)!

  • Plan Ahead. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when implementing employee reviews into your organization is not planning ahead. If you’re acting on a whim, randomly throwing an invite on your team’s calendar - it’s simply not setting the tone for a positive result. Instead of sporadically deciding to facilitate these impactful meetings (remember: they can be impactful in a positive OR negative way), simply plan ahead! Our recommendation is to plan for the full year at once by placing the invites on team members’ calendars on a monthly or quarterly (whichever your preferred flow is) basis so they (and you) can be as prepared as possible and know it's coming. This is also a great opportunity to invite a member of your team like a virtual assistant or administrative assistant to help get these meetings scheduled well in advance.

  • Provide Structure & Set Expectations. Quite frankly, there’s nothing worse than walking into a performance review meeting with your boss and not knowing what to expect. Of course, there will be some things that are “unknown” and only uncovered as the conversation unfolds…but as a leader, you have the opportunity to provide structure and set expectations for what team members will experience during their time with you. At Elevate, we have specific questions, guidelines, and conversation topics that we unpack at every employee review (we do them quarterly). Not only does this give both you and your team members time to prepare/think about what they want to discuss and share, but it also creates consistency which is always more valuable than we think. There are many great resources out there for learning how to provide structured employee reviews, but if you’re looking for a more custom approach, we’d love to help! Click here to drop us a line + book a discovery call. 

  • Add Some Fun. If you’ve been around here for a while, then it probably comes as no surprise that we’re encouraging you to throw some FUN into the mix! The truth is, you can still have a productive, impactful employee review experience, talk about difficult things, AND enjoy it all at the same time. This can be as simple as facilitating the review over your team member’s choice of lunch, sending some branded swag to their home/office as a “thank you” for being a member of the team, OR even playing a simple question game to get to know each other before you dig deep into conversation. There are many benefits to adding fun - including setting a positive tone for the meeting, connecting with each other, and building trust (just to name a few)! Again - lots of options out there, but if you’re looking for some expert insight on how to tastefully (and professionally) implement fun into your employee reviews, give us a shout! We’d love to help. 

  • Employee reviews (done well) are an incredible way to see continued growth in your team and organization as a whole. We hope this blog inspired you to mix things up, think outside the box, and get consistent with investing in your people! 

    Do you have any insights on this topic!? Let us know in the comments below!


    Your cart is currently empty.

    Start Shopping

    Select options