Performance reviews often get mixed reviews. I have spoken to many employers who do not want the hassle of a performance review because it takes time away from doing the job or because it feels like a legal minefield. 

Oregon does not require performance reviews of employers. But these sit-downs are almost always a good management practice for several reasons. First, they are an opportunity to give feedback to employees on the strengths, skills and shortcomings of their performance. This feedback, when documented, can be useful if needed to defend a future termination or legal challenge. Second, these reviews offer an opportunity for an employer to tie an employee’s performance directly to the company’s goals, so long as those goals have been communicated previously to the employee. Lastly, employers who wisely list the bases of evaluation to employees in advance (for example, in an employee handbook or personnel manual) can offer a blueprint for all supervisors to use when giving performance reviews, which can streamline and standardize this practice across the company. 

Some things to keep in mind when giving performance reviews: this annual/semi-annual meeting should not be the only time an employee hears from their supervisor on their performance. The word ‘feedback’ is all the rage these days, but this was true for most employees in years past too – we like to know when our performance is good! We also like to know when our boss is invested enough and paying enough attention to correct us. Also, a good performance review will be in writing with an opportunity for the employee to acknowledge receipt with a sign and date. They do not need to agree to the substance of the review, but they do need to sign that they have received and understand the review. Extra credit for space at the bottom for an employee to respond to the review. 

Any questions? Feel free to contact me. I’d love to help.