Review Time? 6 Tips for Managers
4. Ask questions.
Establish a dialog since good review sessions are two-way conversations. Ask your employee how you can help them do a better job. If he is a star performer, ask him how you can help him grow. If she isn't doing well, ask her if she needs training or guidance. Don't wait for them to come to you with their problems.
5. Serve as a coach.
Continuous learning is a big motivator for most people, especially creative, driven employees (which are the kind you have, right?). So take the time to help them improve. Be their coach. See if the company offers training they can take advantage of. Have informal group sharing sessions where you can all learn from one another.
6. Close positively with a plan
Whether the evaluation is overwhelmingly positive or covered with thorns, end by setting out a plan for the future. Communicate clearly what you expect and by when, and what the probably consequences are.
And remember, these same tips work in reverse when you're the one getting reviewed. Plan out what you want to say in advance, focus on the results you achieved, ask how you can do better, ask for more training (even if you don't get it, it makes you look proactive), and work out a future plan before ending the meeting.
Best of luck!