Regular, consistent and well managed staff reviews and performance management can not only identify under-performance but also recognise good work as well as motivate your staff. They allow you make sure that each person in the organisation is making a valuable contribution and support your planning for training and development. Probationary reviews are also important to make sure new recruits are settling in and haven’t got any problems as well as making sure they are effectively performing the role they have been recruited for.

Communicate Your Business Goals

If you haven’t done any formal reviewing with your staff before, make sure you begin with setting your business goals and strategy for the year ahead and ensuring they are communicated to your teams as a whole. Your staff need to know what your plans and aims are and how you expect them to contribute to reaching these business goals. You should also have current job descriptions and person specifications for each role within your business to use as a tool to aid your reviews.

You then need to review with each member of staff individually. Before your meeting ensure you prepare a brief agenda which will help both sides prepare as well as focus during the review. Informal job-chats work really well and should include discussion about future develop and training. Recognise good work as well as discussing any problems.


Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Agreed, Realistic, Timebound) objectives for your team will give structure and clarity and add real value to your organisation.

Following the performance review, confirm in writing to your staff what you have agreed; this not only gives clarity but provides you will an audit trail if you do need to refer back to to it if staff are not performing well against their agreed objectives.

Once you start this processes the next meetings becomes easier but make sure you prepare data based on the previous reviews agreed targets and goals. Also schedule time for your job chats or more formal reviews in advance. It’s easy to think they are not an important part of your day to day but the value they will add to your businesses is worth your time investment.