As you secure your budget to add new members to your small business staff, expectations for those positions immediately come into play.  These are never set in stone as certain employees can exhibit extra skills and display interest in other areas of business operations. But as your employees become more comfortable in their roles, it’s important to continue to hold them accountable.

Performance reviews are great for career development, recognition and feedback-based discussions between you and your employees. These conversations will help you build relationships with your employees and ensure that you’re all working towards the same goals for your business.

While the exact format you construct for these reviews can vary, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you’re not stepping over any discrimination lines.

The following quick checklist of best practices will keep you compliant when conducting performance reviews:

  • Ensure performance reviews are conducted for all employees on a regular basis.
  • Clearly communicate job expectations and responsibilities to all employees including the measured performance standards.
  • Put systems into place for measuring performance based on job-related functions and criteria that were illustrated in the employee’s job description.
  • Review and update job descriptions at least once a year.
  • Document with accuracy and detail the records regarding performance to support personnel decisions.
  • Make certain that performance reviews are based upon specific job-related criteria.
  • Provide honest, factual and complete notes.
  • Compare performance against job descriptions and goals.
  • Offer ongoing feedback.
  • Ensure review process for measuring performance is equal amongst all employees.

Whether you already regularly implement performance reviews for your staff or this is something you’re considering for your new small business, keep this checklist in mind to be sure you’re staying compliant with best HR practices.

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Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion.  Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.