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Employee Performance Reviews Can Have a Big Impact on a Small Business

Not giving timely or thoughtful feedback can result in worker dissatisfaction and lead to higher employee turnover. This is a potentially major issue for small businesses, particularly in these times of tight labor.

Yet as important as employee reviews are, many weren’t doing such a great job even before the pandemic. Only 13% of the 48,000 employees and managers surveyed in 2019 by research firm Leadership IQ thought that their organization’s performance appraisal system was useful. And now, as we seem to be emerging from the pandemic, many employers — about 30%, according to another study from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org — are overhauling their employee review process.

What are they doing?

For starters, many are conducting more employee reviews more frequently. Conducting annual reviews is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Employees — particularly younger employees — want feedback as often and as quickly as possible. That means ensuring that managers are communicating with their subordinates both formally and informally throughout the year. Many companies today have a formal sit-down employee review process, but these sessions are best when there are no surprises and really serve as a recap of the feedback an employee has already been receiving.

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