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The power of performance reviews and pulling out weeds in the workplace

In professional sports, regular performance reviews are considered the norm. Consistently week in, week out, teams sit down and analyse their performance to see what worked, what didn’t and what they can do to improve.

During our time working in the corporate space however, we have found that performance reviews are underutilised, misunderstood, underestimated and done poorly. But why? If consistent performance reviews work so well in professional sports, why aren’t they implemented correctly in the corporate setting? The simple answer is that many leaders don’t understand the power of corporate team reviews or how to conduct them successfully.


Why every organisation needs performance reviews in the workplace

Corporate team reviews are important for many reasons. They can help managers and employees to:


How to conduct workplace performance reviews the right way

While we are the biggest believers in regular corporate team reviews, we understand that not every leader knows how to conduct them effectively. When done the wrong way, a performance review can quickly go from a constructive and uplifting exercise to a reprimanding or downright pointless one. Here are some simple ways to get your performance reviews working for both you and your employees.


Actually setting a recurring rhythm in which these reviews happen and sticking to them can make a world of difference to the effectiveness of your performance reviews. Decide upon the frequency and then schedule them well in advance. 


Preprepare your review structure and make sure that it is conducive to answering these three fundamental questions:  1. What’s working? 2. What’s not? 3. What can we do better? Make sure the conversation goes both ways, leaders should also understand how they can better support their staff to help them achieve their best. 


Gather patterns in the data you’ve collected over time, we call this “identifying weeds”. If you have some recurring patterns, then you will be able to trace them back to the underlying weed and then look at how you may work together to pull them out.  


At the end of your performance review, you will have the chance to sit down and make a tangible plan of action. If the topics of your discussion were more around how well things are working, then you can work on a plan to do more of the same. If your discussion was based upon things that are not working so well, then you can work with your employee to implement achievable changes that will help turn things around.

It will take time to ensure it works. Consistently review again and again to ensure over time you get better as a team.


Get in touch with our team at Performance by Design

If you’re looking to further upgrade the performance review process in your workplace, then reach out to the Performance by Design team. We specialise in leadership coaching and capability development, teaching you how to conduct effective corporate team reviews and fade out underperformance within your team.