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Treat every review like a job interview

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There’s something about the first round of job interviews that adds a buzz to one’s day. It may be the cocktail of nerves and excitement, or the promise of a new job.

On the other hand, performance reviews are generally approached with dread. Some HR professionals I’ve spoken to over the years have admitted they find it a waste of time if done more than once a year, while employees hardly ever look forward to them (I know I don’t).

But aren’t they essentially the same thing? During both a job interview and a performance review, you’re assessing the candidate or employee to make sure they’re a good fit for the organisation.

This is why HR needs to approach performance reviews the same way they do first job interviews. Continue asking the hard questions, even if they seem redundant at first.

Why do you still want this job?

What motivates you to do your job well?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Asking the questions you would normally reserve only for the initial interview during a performance review gives you an opportunity to also learn more about your employee.

Performance reviews are not just an avenue to praise achievements or pick at faults; they should be treated as an opportunity for dialogue between the two parties.

Then there are the questions you can tweak to get better insight as employees are now familiar with the working culture, company structure and having you as their manager.

Instead of asking, “What do you look for in a manager?”, ask “What can I do as a leader to help with your development?”

Rather than asking “What attracted you to the job?”, ask “Has the job matched the expectations you had when you first joined us?”

By leveraging on the relationship you already have with the employee, asking the right questions can reveal more valuable answers that will in turn help you and the leadership team make the needed changes for a more engaged and fulfilled workforce.

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