December 4, 2019

Effective Employee Review Tactics

Effective Employee Review Tactics

Even if you understand proper management techniques, it is easy to slip into the path of least resistance. When you avoid the hard discussions, the careful documentation and the consistent follow up, your reputation and effectiveness will likely decline.

There are three common mistakes managers make during the employee review process. 

Do you see yourself?

• Being dishonest with employees?
• Using unclear or inaccurate language?
• Being too busy to follow up on performance reviews?

If you see yourself drifting into the patterns above, it’s time to step back and review your employee management practices. It will be more fun being a manager who can be trusted to tell the truth, provide clearly documented facts, and offer support during a performance improvement plan. 

Start putting the following habits into place:

• Practice kindness and honesty with your staff.
• Use clear language in your conversations and documentation.
• Budget sufficient time to follow up on performance reviews.


Managers should be clear, honest, and kind during performance reviews. If an employee is not meeting expectations, they should be told, even if they are a casual or close friend. Nobody likes to receive a negative review, but when it is delivered with kindness and respect, there is real possibility to help implement change. 

The review process is an opportunity to connect with an employee. Make sure to highlight their positive qualities, encourage the desired behaviors, and set specific goals for improvement. 


Employee performance reviews help both the employer and the employee when they are documented clearly and objectively. They can be a roadmap to bring an employee back on track and to increase positive behavior. 

Try to avoid using superlatives like ‘always’ and ‘never’ because it is hard to consider such comments as credible. Instead, write down concrete details and facts, such as dates, times, names, and numbers. Clearly, it is more credible to say that an employee has not been completing tasks in the last two months, as opposed to saying an employee has never completed tasks. 

A well-documented and objective employee performance report is valuable in proving a case of lawful termination. It is vital to keep clear, consistent, and fair documentation of the performance review and its follow-up meetings. 

Follow Through: 

Following through on performance reviews is a must.  When managers take an active and consistent part in supporting employees, they demonstrate that the success of their staff is important. Performance reviews are another opportunity to connect, set goals and look toward the future.  Properly documenting the follow through is essential. There should be clear records of goals, the conversations, the compliments, the warnings and the targeted areas of improvement.

About the Author

PIASC is the largest graphic arts trade association in the country. They are devoted in helping members succeed. For over 80 years, they have been servicing businesses in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Ventura and Clark counties.

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