Resources to Get Your Performance Reviews Back on Track

Performance reviews can be a source of frustration for many in the business world. If you're a part of the group of people bogged down by a dysfunctional review process, take comfort. This is a great time for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for advice, you may be in for a shock. Every day on the Internet, for each article written with ideas for solutions, there are another five dedicated to the problem itself. You may have seen some version of the standards such as "Why Your Employees Hate Performance Evaluations," "6 Reasons to Stop Your Employee Reviews," "This Is Why Your Employee Appraisals Are Broken," and on and on.

Unless you're one of the few trailblazing companies trying to live without reviews, these articles can be a drag. By mostly focusing on the problem, they don't help you much with plotting out potential solutions.

Let's change that. To help make 2015 your year to get your review process back on track, we scoured the Internet for everything you need to run a productive, insightful review cycle. If you have any additional articles or resources that have been helpful for you when revamping your process, share them in the comments. 

Smart Performance Review Processes

Performance Evaluation Tips (Drexel University): A useful foundation for creating any performance review process from soup to nuts.

The Big Benefits of Remaking Performance Reviews (Derek Irvine, TLNT): Irvine offers a case study on the successful performance review overhaul at Adobe.

Applying Psychology 101 to Performance Reviews (Jon Malpass, PerformYard): Performance reviews work best when they are tailored to how we best learn desired behaviors, and receive feedback.

A Better Approach to Performance Reviews (Souvik Choudhury, Forbes): A somewhat contrarian approach to performance reviews that focuses on building up employee's strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.

The Top 5 Pain Points in Performance Reviews and Their Solutions (Morgan Norman, TLNT): Solutions to common performance review problems that can help you avoid some major snags.

Fixing the Annual Performance Review (Paul Hebert, fistful of talent): A strong argument for combining regular, brief performance check-ins along with your longer term review cycle.

Delivering Feedback

Delivering an Effective Performance Review (Rebecca Knight, Harvard Business Review): Detailed guidance for managers preparing to deliver performance feedback.

6 Tricks for Better Performance Reviews (Kathryn Minshew, Inc): Six strategies to add value to your regular performance review meetings told through the perspective of a new hire's first review.

Ditch Performance Reviews? How About Learn to Do Them Well? (Sytch & DeRue, HBR): These two authors suggest a number of tips for delivering feedback supported by scientific research and their own field research.

"Everyone is Above Average!" or Why Your Performance Ratings Need Work (Ben Hastings, PerformYard): Avoid the trap of rating too many of your employees as above average by calibrating your performance ratings to accurately reflect exceptional performers.

Better Performance Reviews in 140 Characters (Tim Sackett, fistful of talent): Examples of concise performance feedback for several categories of employees.

Get Comfortable With Giving Negative Feedback (John Scott, PerformYard): Performance reviews lose value when managers sugarcoat or avoid giving negative feedback. Use these tips to deliver effective constructive criticism.

5 Ways to Make Employee Recognition Mean Something (Kevin Daum, Inc): Reward your most accomplished employees, and drive others to high performance with these strategies.

Other Resources

Performance Review Form Template (Entrepreneur)

Writing Self Assessments (Chad Brooks, Business News Daily): This article includes great tips on writing an effective self assessment, and includes a number of templates for self assessment forms.

Job Descriptions (BLR.Com): Examples of several different job descriptions.


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