Performance Reviews

Tips for Successful Performance Reviews

Frequent Conversations Prepare Managers and Employees for the Annual Review

Midyear conversations present opportunities to assess progress toward goals and to make midyear corrections. Learn more about preparing and conducting the review conversation.

Keep Job/Position Descriptions Up-to-Date

Job/position descriptions should be reviewed annually to reflect the frequent change in responsibilities and duties in MIT's positions.

Document the Conversations

A written performance review form or memo is important because it documents a shared understanding of past performance and provides a record of expectations for the work going forward.

Create a Reciprocal Process

Frequent conversations about performance create a reciprocal process and an atmosphere of shared responsibility for the work.

Managers and employees who do meet regularly to discuss performance goals report that the annual review conversation becomes a summary—a low-stress "non-event" that is just part of an ongoing cycle.

Start with a Self-Appraisal

Individual managers can also ensure that every employee receives an annual review and that the review process is based on a self-appraisal form completed by the employee.

Consider Multi-rater Feedback

Finally, a richer view of the employee's contributions can often be gained by including feedback from colleagues and customers.

A Successful Performance Review Conversation Needs

  • Careful planning by manager and employee
  • Constructive communication
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Openness to giving and receiving feedback
  • Commitment to "continuous improvement"
  • High level of accountability—good follow-through on commitments made during conversation
  • Openness to redefining or readjusting goals as needed (for the department and/or for the employee)