Performance reviews can be a bit scary.  We all remember the first time we were evaluated, and how it can get you a bit stressed.  No one really enjoys them on either side; they can either be very tedious, or worse, very awkward.  Managers are forced to determine whether employees are showing improvement, or deserve a pay increase.  These decisions can be extremely tricky, and can come back to bite you if not done properly.  Here are some things to help you succeed while doing your performance reviews.

Don’t Wait on the Hard OnesAs with anything you do, it is best to get the hard things out of the way first.  If you don’t they will linger on your mind the entire time.  Once you get past them, your success rates will go up.

Don’t Hide Honest FeedbackIt is hard to give tough feedback.  We all have experienced hearing it at some point in our lives, and it can be difficult to hear, but don’t let that stop you.  It is your job as the manager to be honest and straightforward with your staff, even if that is negative.

Stand your GroundWith your honest feedback said, be sure to stand your ground.  Many staff will try to explain away or talk around a negative review.  Don’t let them take charge and overhaul the topic.  Defend your assessment, and back it up with examples.

Give ExamplesIf you are planning to give a negative review, you better have some documentation to back it up.  Being able to use source documentation, when possible, will help get your point across.  This is just as important when discussing positive feedback.  Show them examples of good things they have done, and bad things.  It will make you more credible.

Don’t Discuss Other EmployeesIt is recommended that you do not compare the employee to other employees, in a good or bad way.  The review is about them and them alone, and other employees shouldn’t be brought up.  “Why are your forms late?  John always turns his in on time!”  is the last thing you want to say.  It shows favoritism, and is unprofessional.