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Performance reviews get a bad rep in the workplace. For both parties, it can be a stressful time of year. Employees eagerly anticipate a promotion, brace themselves for potentially negative feedback, or hope to receive recognition for their stellar work. On the other hand, managers spend countless hours writing and rewriting feedback, vouching for that raise, and worrying as they prepare to give constructive criticism that they hope isn't misinterpreted.  

So, they can be stressful, but the good news is they don’t need to be! In this article, we will dive into why we conduct employee reviews, explore different review processes, and share tips and tricks to keep in mind as you begin conducting reviews in your construction organization. 

Why Conduct Employee Reviews 

Many view the employee review or performance review process as outdated and unfavorable. But why? A recent report reveals they are time-consuming, costing managers around 210 hours each year, and 90% of performance reviews are deemed ineffective. 

Despite these frustrating numbers, when done right, employee reviews can provide a lot of value to both managers and workers. Let’s look at some of the benefits of conducting employee reviews in the construction industry: 

Improves productivity. If there is open communication between manager and employee during a performance review, then the employee can give open feedback on what is going well and what isn’t, uncovering possible blind spots to the manager. This will also, in turn, improve employee performance by creating a safe environment to receive constructive feedback. This will help bring to light challenges and hopefully resolve them to make it easier to be productive. 

Enhances safety compliance. Reviews can play an important role in maintaining safety compliance on the job for several reasons. First, receiving regular feedback on performance and reinforcing good safety practices lets the worker know what’s going well. Similarly, this is also a time to identify where additional safety training is needed and communicate those expectations moving forward. This can also be a good time to review any safety incident reports and discuss how to mitigate them in the future.  

Boosts morale. Conducting regular performance reviews helps boost morale by acknowledging achievements and giving credit where credit is due. Managers should focus on highlighting an individual’s strengths while addressing challenges supportively. Also, the more frequent and positive the reviews, the less likely employees will experience anxiety around them. And when morale is boosted, so is overall productivity. 

Increases opportunity for growth. Managers should help their employees identify opportunities for growth during their review. By discussing strengths and potential weaknesses, managers can help set goals for improving performance while also offering constructive feedback. If a worker expresses that they want to advance to a particular position or learn a new skill, this would be a great time to develop an action plan to get them there. 

Provides valuable data to managers. Throughout the review process, managers should take notes from each employee. They can save time by planning which data points they want to measure, like deadlines met on time, hours worked on a project, or the individual’s biggest strengths. Having data to track over time will help foster a more engaged and productive workforce while driving up revenue. 

Though this list is not exhaustive, it illustrates the value a solid performance review process can bring to a company. 

4 Types of Review Processes 

 There are several approaches you can take when it comes to planning and conducting your employee evaluation process. If you don’t already have a standardized process in place, you’ll likely have to iterate the process to be tailored to meet the needs of your teams. 

Here are a few of the methods you can use for employee reviews: 

  1. Objectives and key results (OKRs)
    While adopting the OKR method should not replace the traditional employee review, it pairs with it nicely. OKRs are unique because they break down large, qualitative goals into smaller, quantitative ones. OKRs can focus on the individual and the organization or department as a whole. OKRs are generally evaluated every quarter or so and are focused on increasing transparency, collaboration, organization, and focus areas. 

  2. Balanced scorecard 
    The balanced scorecard method uses data to track certain activities and their circumstances. You can create four categories in a balanced scorecard. We recommend customizing the categories based on your organization's goals. Some category suggestions include construction safety, customer satisfaction, major projects, and individual growth and training. 

  3. 360-feedback 
    This feedback method aims to help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses. The 360-feedback approach gathers feedback from multiple sources like supervisors, coworkers, direct reports, and others to provide a well-rounded collection of feedback. Typically, this feedback is anonymous to remain confidential, but it helps the employee understand areas of growth as well as areas where they succeed. 

  4. Continuous feedback loop 
    Unlike an annual review, the continuous feedback loop opens the door for regular communication between an employee and their manager. If used with a more traditional review process, feedback becomes less of a tension point and viewed as a positive connection. While some feedback may be constructive, engaging in regular feedback has many benefits like proactively mitigating obstacles, making better decisions, and helping employees reach their goals faster. 

Tips for Conducting the Review 

Conducting successful employee reviews requires a lot of effort. As a manager, it is important to be thoughtful in the process, considering the needs of your company and your employees.  

Here are a few tips for conducting employee reviews at your construction company. 

  1. Prepare: Before you meet with your employees, take time to review feedback from others, their accomplishments, and areas for improvement. It is also wise to write out your thoughts and share them with the individual, so they have something to look back on. 

  2. Be specific: Give concrete examples of the claims you are making. For example, if you tell your employee, “You didn’t hit the mark on this job,” then be prepared to tell them why. Or, instead of saying, “You did a great job on this project,” tell them, “I really admired your project management skills on this project and how you were able to finish everything on time, despite the challenge. This is a valuable skill that will help get you to the next level in your career.” This will give them tangible feedback instead of just a pat on the back. 

  3. Ask them for feedback: Rather than a one-sided conversation, pause regularly during your review to ask if they have any questions or concerns that they would like to voice. In addition, you can ask them what you as a manager, can do to improve their team experience.  

  4. Check-in: Be sure to follow up with the individual after the review and consider having regular check-ins to make sure they are on target towards their goals. This holds them accountable while giving you insight into what is going well and where they might need to pivot.  

  5. Utilize technology: Streamline the employee review process with technology. Many software and templates allow you to store feedback, track progress, and more. For example, at hh2, we offer solutions that help you automate many of your HR needs making it easier to collect data, track employees, and gain visibility into your company. 


Ready to transform your employee reviews and unlock your team’s full potential? Schedule your demo now and discover how hh2’s HR solution, built for contractors by contractors, can help. 

Unleashing Potential: Best Practices for Conducting Employee Reviews in Construction

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