Performance reviews are a universally dreaded exercise. However, regular feedback is required to build an engaged and committed team.

Here’s a way to skip the forms and awkward conversations and simplify the process. Begin by asking yourself this one simple question: “Would I hire this person again?”

If the answer is “yes,” write down why. Are they dependable, and self-controlled? Are they focused at work? How can they improve? Share your answers with the employee. They’ll appreciate the feedback and be motivated to earn more positive reviews.

If the answer is “no,” ask yourself, why? Did you make a hiring mistake? If it was a poor hiring decision, you’ll first need to have an honest discussion with the employee about their future with you. Then, improve your hiring systems to avoid future mistaken hiring decisions.

If it wasn’t a hiring mistake, ask yourself, did I do everything possible to help this person succeed? Did they have the training, tools, and equipment needed to do their job? Did I provide the culture and leadership needed to motivate and inspire? If you didn’t provide them with what they needed, now you know what you need to do. Share what you’ve learned with the person and what you’re planning to do (like provide additional training). They’ll see that you want them to succeed and be more likely to improve.


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