Perfecting employee review processes and enacting effective performance management strategies is an ongoing process. Leaders must constantly be willing and able to try new things, tweaking their approach until they come up with procedures that will effectively guide employees to success.

In order to parse out the actions and strategies that will have the biggest impact, leaders must collect opinions and advice from many sources. Here are three pieces of performance management advice from leadership experts around the web to help you craft your own effective strategies:

The One Thing You can do to Make Performance Reviews More Effective

On the Leadership and Learning blog, Kevin Eikenberry offers leaders a single, actionable tip for improving performance reviews. In his recent piece, How to Make Every Performance Review More Effective, Kevin encourages leaders to make employees active participants in the review process by conducting regular self-evaluations.

Engaging employees in the performance management process gives them a reason to take reviews seriously and holds them accountable for taking the time to self-reflect. Kevin reminds leaders that they should use the self-evaluation to guide the conversation throughout the review. This will make each employee feel as though they are an equal participant in the meeting, rather than just the recipient of random criticism and praise.

You can follow Kevin Eikenberry on Twitter @KevinEikenberry

The Perils of Ranking Employees

A reader of Workforce Magazine recently wrote in to the “Dear Workforce” column about the potential benefits of employee ranking systems. Some employers try out employee ranking systems as a way to identify potential leaders for succession planning, and Workforce agrees that ranking can be valuable in this capacity. However, the author cautions leaders against using ranking as a performance management strategy.

According to the column, “When you rank employees, you impact their potential for advancement. Opinions and politics are rife in most ranking systems; defendable metrics scarce.” It continues, “Ranking also causes some people to feel “less than”. If you are No. 3 on the list for a position that you really want, it may negatively impact your motivation. This is especially true if the ranking process is perceived to be less than fair.”

Leaders must remember that the primary focus of performance management is the individual. Each employee is “competing” with the standards, metrics, and KPIs set forth for his or her own position. Adding an extra layer of competition can actually undermine the effectiveness of performance management.

You can follow Workforce Magazine on Twitter @workforcenews

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Performance Management Begins on Day One

On, leadership experts Doug and Polly White remind us that performance management must begin at the beginning in their article, “Ensure Your New Employee’s Success With These 5 Steps.” Leaders must invest in strong onboarding practices in order to set up new employees for success. Setting the right tone from day one can mean the difference between a long-term, high-performing employee and a bad hire.

The Whites’ piece gives readers five actionable steps they can take throughout the onboarding process, including the critical step of providing ongoing feedback. They stress the importance of offering praise when leaders “catch” the new employee doing something well, but they also encourage leaders not to shy away from providing negative feedback when necessary to help guide the employee’s long-term performance.

You can follow Doug and Polly White on Twitter @letgotogrow