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HR Building - Creating a Culture of Top Performers, A Closer Look at the Performance Review Process

Performance Review Process
Performance Review Process

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019
Categories: Human Resources

We love to measure all sorts of things. How long it took to complete a task. How accurate or efficient was the task completed? The return on investment (ROI) for either our time or finances. The concept of recording stats and corresponding evaluation has been in existence for decades. (longest NFL pass, tallest person, gross sales of the original iPhone). The Guinness Book of World Records contains thousands of stats and world records since first published in 1955.

According to Webster, performance is a noun stemming from the verb perform which means to carry out or to do in a formal manner according to a prescribed ritual. Performance is the execution of an action, something accomplished, the fulfillment of a request or the ability to perform.

We all agree that “top performing people” are an asset to any organization. How do we determine those that are top performing? This has historically been accomplished by the performance review aka performance appraisal method which is simply the documentation and evaluation of job performance.

I’d like to share some thoughts on best practices to create an environment of top performing people.

Begin with compiling all current job descriptions and then conduct a job analysis by observing or asking current employees if the actions being performed match those contained in the job description. If your organization has multiple locations or is too large to accomplish this in-person, creating a survey will allow you to capture this same information. Once this is completed, compare current job functions with the job description to determine if there are duties or tasks that need to be added, removed, or updated in the job description. With a clear job description in place, ensure both those employees in the role and their managers have a clear understanding of these duties and corresponding goals.


Front line managers, like a great professional sports coach, are there to train, direct, encourage, and guide their employees towards meeting the performance objectives or goals outlined in the job description. These goals should align the mission, vision, and values of your organization and also stir those employees to perform as if every day were the last 60 seconds of the game in which it’s a one-point difference.

The mindset shift from being a “boss” to a “coach” will foster a different response from your employees that will motivate them to perform at an invested-level in which your trust in their ability to perform become an open and continuous exchange rather than just an annual checking off boxes on the scorecard. You’ve trained them to perform and carry out what they’ve been hired to do, and they have the confidence knowing their coach is cheering them on and available to help them over the hurdles should they stumble along the way.

Our organization operates as such, in that the formal annual performance review process occurs in years 1 through 5 and then 5-year increments after that. Employees at all levels have the freedom and opportunity to discuss concerns, receive and seek feedback at any time during their employment and it’s been a winning system for us as we celebrate our 80th year in business!

Tagged:hiring, personnel, employment, HR Building, employee recognition

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