Employee reviews are essential in the new year

A new year represents a time to reflect on everything that has happened over the past 12 months – and to look forward to what is to come.

Many of us make personal resolutions at the start of a new year – perhaps to get fit or quit smoking – but 2014 is also a great time to reflect on some professional goals for the year ahead.

Investors Business Daily suggests that performance reviews can be a great way to kick-start this reflective process. Some experts believe that rather than one formal review, shorter reviews should instead be carried out throughout the year to ensure that everyone is on track.

In fact, consultant Tim Baker – who has written a book titled The End of the Performance Review – told the publication that by having a simple ten-minute conversation once a month for a five-month period, both employers and employees can benefit and grow together.

During the first month, he suggests talking about overall job satisfaction – and then diving into other issues, like learning, development, growth opportunities, innovative ideas and strengths and talents over time.

The most recent edition of the Randstad Workmonitor survey showed that 69 per cent of Australians are currently either satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs.

Productivity software can give employers or HR managers leading the review an excellent starting point – and can help employees take their performance review into their own hands.

For example, Baker suggested having each worker fill out a self-evaluation or a reflective quiz ahead of the informal meeting. This can help managers ask the right questions, or ask for further examples and clarification if they need it.

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