img_0355_0It’s that time of year again for most companies: annual reviews. But is an annual review enough or should you provide performance feedback more often? And is there a right way or a wrong way?

Here to answer all of those questions and more is Katie Busch of HR Compensation Consultants. Katie is an HR veteran and long-time consultant who helps companies with anything related to performance and compensation.

On today’s episode of Hospitality Academy, we talk about the do’s and don’ts of annual reviews including 3 ways to prepare for each review, how often and when to schedule them and what to do if an employee is having performance problems.

Essential Learning Points From This Show:

  • What is a manager’s job according to Katie?
  • When and why should you ask for self-evaluations?
  • The two questions to ask if someone isn’t hitting the mark.
  • Who are the people you want most to reward in your company?
  • What is one of the simplest things a manager can do to potentially increase productivity and engage employees?
  • And so much more!

Katie Miller-Busch began HR Compensation Consultants, her company, about 10 years ago but she’s worked as a consultant for 20 years. In those 20 years she’s helped companies of all sizes and varieties focus on their compensation models and their performance management.

Today we specifically hone in on performance management and the employee review process. Katie recommends having both a mid-year and an annual review of employees, but the dates you do these will depend on your company. For example, if you are a seasonal company you won’t want to schedule either of these reviews during the height of your busy times.

She also suggests viewing those two occasions as the components of the formal review process, while having an informal process as well. For your mid-year and end-of-year reviews you will want to sit down and talk with your employee, and document it all in a formal way.

But you can help them excel at their jobs by informally giving feedback and receiving input from your employees on an on-going basis. Because you are their manager you are responsible for their progress and resetting them if they get off course. The best way to ensure they are on course is by checking in regularly in an informal (ie undocumented) way.

When preparing for the formal reviews there are three things to keep in mind: keep it simple, keep it smart (s.m.a.r.t.) and stick to the facts. Keep review simple and straightforward: give them 30 minutes and let them know what will happen in that time.

You can keep the review process smart by following the SMART acronym:

S for specific
Be clear on what you want the outcome to be.
M for measurable
Your employee knows the markers that mean the outcome is achieved.
A for attainable
The outcome must be something your employee can do.
R for relevant
The outcome is relevant to your employee’s position.
T for time
Make sure your employee knows when the outcome should be achieved.

And finally, stick to the facts. Give specific examples in your review whether they are good or bad, and only give the facts on those examples. You’ll also want to have your employee do a self-evaluation and have them follow these same guidelines when they do.

If you are having difficulty with an employee Katie addresses how to engage with them during a review. Take the time to prepare your review, stick to the facts again and only focus on a couple of items (don’t bombard them with a litany of bad deeds). Then go over the review you’ve created with another manager or someone from HR.

Practicing with HR or another manager is especially helpful when delivering bad news. It’s never easy to be the messenger of bad news, and it isn’t easy to receive bad news so prepare ahead of time and always stay calm and respectful during the process.

Katie gives those sound words of advice as well as the consequences of not doing reviews and why recognition is a simple yet often overlooked managerial tool that can increase engagement and productivity. Listen in for that and more on episode 15 of the Hospitality Academy podcast!

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Important Links & Mentions From This Episode:

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