Building a successful loss prevention career in has always been predicated on the commitment to professional growth and development. But true growth must be built on a solid foundation. Especially when we consider the pace of change, we find that success is largely based on the refinement of the fundamental principles that anchor our skills and our decision making.
Writing effective performance reviews is a critical cog in the entire career development process. We use these appraisals to assess and document an employee’s performance, behaviors and skills while reviewing the milestones that were achieved and/or the opportunities that were missed over the past review period. We observe, review and recall the various metrics, measure those factors against the performance standards established by our organization, and translate our evaluation into sufficient detail to provide the employee with fair and meaningful feedback.
While the review process is a critical aspect of improving employee productivity, development and morale, the task of writing performance reviews is often viewed as a challenging and time consuming chore. However, we must be able to consider the review process on multiple levels, and from a global perspective. A well written, well conceived review is not merely an appraisal of the employee’s past and current performance, but also a means to enhance future performance and provide feedback that can be the foundation of an employee’s overall loss prevention career plan.
In Part 1 of the Review process, we will discuss how to approach the assessment.
Approaching the Performance Assessment
First and foremost, there should be no substantial surprises at appraisal time. Supervisors and subordinates should discuss the successes and opportunities of employee performance throughout the year as a shared responsibility. If an employee has a performance opportunity, the sooner the issue is addressed, the sooner the issue can be corrected or improved upon.
If an employee is performing favorably, they should be made aware of that as well. Silence can send a strong message, whether that message is intended or not. Withholding praise until an annual review is delivered can lead to skewed perceptions and misunderstandings. Employees deserve to know when they’re doing well, and ongoing feedback will lead to motivated employees.
Keep notes on both accomplishments and shortcomings. If you take detailed notes throughout the year, you’ll have a much easier time developing and supporting your evaluation.
An accurate performance review is not done in a few hours, but instead is an ongoing process. An employee can tell the difference between a review that is rushed versus one that shows thought and meaning. This can affect how the review is received as well as how the employee might respond to the evaluation, good or bad.
Keep the performance review as objective as possible. While we should recognize effort and enthusiasm, do not evaluate the employee in areas that go beyond their job description. Also, recognize that there is a difference between the person and the person’s performance. Measure performance results and not personality traits (except those that directly impact performance).
The tone of the review will depend on the quality of the performance. However, every review must be developed and delivered objectively and professionally. It is always best to approach the review process with a specific agenda in mind. Take your time and write the appraisal with due thought, attention and objectivity. Plan in advance what you would like to say during the review process, and take appropriate steps to deliver your intended message regardless of the employee’s response.
Writing a proper and accurate review is an essential aspect of the review process. In Part 2 of the Review Process we will discuss Writing the Appraisal.
By capitalizing on opportunities to enhance our knowledge and education, we are making an investment in our own future. To learn more about loss prevention career development and the certification process, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.