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First time managers ...7 simple things to focus on to give you confidence in the review

As a first time manager, it can be quite daunting doing the reviews of your team. They’re nervous, you’re nervous … it’s a disaster in the making! So here are 7 simple things to focus on to make the review a success for your team and to give you confidence …

Talk less, listen more
Stop talking … you’ll get far more useful information if you just listen to what they have to say. With some people that might mean the odd uncomfortable silence, but give it a few seconds and they will soon start talking!

Play to your stenghts … and your team’s!
If you really understand your own strengths and weaknesses can adapt how you give feedback. Knowing your frame of reference (“I have high technical ability”, “I have no problems conducting tricky negotiations”) and recognising differences in your team’s abilities means you make your feedback more relevant for individual development.

Manage teams not individuals
Performance reviews typically look at individuals, but you are ultimately responsible for their team’s performance. By identifying individual strengths and skills gaps, you can encourage team members with complementary skills to team up; promoting teamwork, providing learning opportunities, and increasing the likelihood of project successes. Highlight how their performance delivers on the whole team performance.

Accentuate the Positive
We all know our professional strengths, but our weaknesses represent the areas where we have the greatest potential for growth. Focus on each employee’s strengths while encouraging them to find ways to develop skills that need improvement. Turn weaknesses into growth areas, and they may eventually become strengths as well.

Be Inspirational
The most successful companies have one thing in common: they recognise that highlighting their employees’ individual achievements will inspire them. Find your team members exceptional talents then refine them further by providing challenging growth opportunities. And make sure each employee gets recognised for their talents, reinforcing current performance and driving strong performance in the future.

Give regular feedback
Give feedback frequently – it means more in real time than it would 6 months from now – and do it publicly when appropriate. And when you need to correct the occasional misstep, be direct, and don’t criticise the person (it’s about the action). Above all, you need to be honest and sincere if you want your feedback to carry any weight.

Make performance reviews about the people
Performance reviews aren’t just about the numbers; they’re about the people and their contributions to the team and the overall organisation. Demonstrate how their efforts drive overall success so they feel a part of something bigger than just themselves.

And just a final thought … the review is a great place for you to gauge how well you are doing as a manager … listen and learn!

Posted on: February 6th, 2015

  • Normally we get around a 45% completion rate with our appraisals, this time using e-ppraise we achieved 95%! The feedback from the team for the first time ever was that the appraisal experience was positive.

    Jane Andrew, Director

  • Really pleased with the new appraisal system, it helps identify training needs and provides consistency across all our 21 offices. the appraisall team have provided excellent training, and support throughout.

    Bethan Edmund-Harper - John Francis Estate Agents

  • A software that takes away my paperwork headache! I am spending my time diagnosing data - determining our succession planning and growth plans rather than tracking who has/hasn't completed their appraisals.

    Helen Williams, HR Manager, Call centre

  • Just love the training administration functionality of the software. I can manage the departmental training budgets and targets, ensure we are legally compliant and that all CPD targets are met, and all in easy to use report formats and diary reminders ... no more multiple spreadsheets!

    Katy Miller, Training manager, Insurance

  • The competency framework works really well for our company. The combination of generic and bespoke competencies means the software feels really relevant to the roles in our organisation. Most of the hard work has been done up front meaning our managers are a lot more engaged with the process.

    Anna Mosley - HR Advisor

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