How to prepare for a successful performance review

The following is an excerpt from the free guide: How to do a performance review – The easy way. Download it here.

A successful performance review begins well before the meeting. If you are delivering bad news give your employee a copy of the review beforehand. That way they can have their initial emotional reaction in private (< Tweet this) and the review meeting can be a constructive conversation about how to improve.

Areas a performance review should cover:

  • Strengths and successes since the last meeting.
  • Improvements since the last meeting.
  • Behaviors that the employee needs to develop.
  • Any performance problems.

Ask those who performed well since their last review for a list of their achievements. You want to make sure you recognize them all. We don’t recommend this for employees who haven’t performed to your expectations as it may be misleading.

Prepare a list of examples to support your review, include behaviors that in your view helped or hurt. You want your staff to clearly understand what they need to do more and less of. Don’t include personal traits, we all feel we can change our behaviors but not ourselves (< Tweet this).

We suggest you do not include success or failure to complete a development plan in your performance review. Not everyone wants to develop beyond their current role but that doesn’t mean that they are performing badly.

If good attendance is important to your staff achieving their goals, discuss it at the review; if it’s not important, don’t bring it up as it will distract from your main message.

This is an excerpt from the free guide: How to do a performance review – The easy way. Download the full guide here.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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