How do we handle performance reviews for employees that change supervisors or jobs in a year?

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Performance reviews ensure that employees are working effectively, that employees have a chance to express their concerns within their given role, and that an employee and an employer are on the same page in terms of expectations.

Although there are certainly some guidelines that can be followed to ensure a successful performance review, there aren't any hard rules on the subject, and how one is conducted is a decision for the employer or human resources manager to make.

If an Employee has Changed Supervisors

For employees who may have been promoted, changed positions, or otherwise changed supervisors, the problem is that their new supervisor may not have had the time to properly evaluate their performance.

One solution could be to have the previous supervisor do the review. If possible, the best option may be to have both supervisors present for the review.

If the previous supervisor has left the company, the only option is for the new supervisor to review the employee's file, or to talk strictly about recent performance.

Whatever the case may be, honesty will be key to this review. It won't do any good for a supervisor to talk about performance issues they know nothing about. A newly appointed supervisor should acknowledge the freshness of their relationship. In this case, the review can be used as a tool for a recently acquainted employee and supervisor to get to know each other better. Talking points may include previous versus current roles, and any preference or procedural differences that the new supervisor may have compared with the previous one.

Advice for Successful Performance Reviews

Be honest: If you can't be honest with an employee about your perspective on their performance, how can you expect them to know what it will take to improve?

Let the employee review you: Understanding what you can do to help improve an employee's performance will be mutually beneficial.

Come prepared: Review the job description, duties, and employment contract. Think of some examples of when the employee did their job really well, as well as some things that they need to change or improve on.

Separate work performance reviews from wage increase reviews: It does require the added time of conducting two reviews, but you'll have the benefit of an employee's full attention if they aren't thinking about the raise they are hoping for.

Final Tip

If an employee's supervisor has recently changed it may be best for their previous supervisor, or both their previous and current supervisors to host their performance review.

Helpful Links:

5 Tips for a Smarter Review Process - INC.com

Performance Review Planning Process - WorkForcePlanning.gov

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