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The small company I am working for never had performance reviews. Because the employees were either part-time or co-founders, there was never a need for them (each person had a stake in the company, and any things that needed to be worked on were discussed relatively openly in company-wide meetings).

Due to the success of the business, we have started hiring new full-time employees who have been asking for us to have formal performance reviews. We asked them what they were looking for from those reviews (since we have never really done them), and they wanted:

  1. To understand how their performance meets our expectations
  2. To give an opportunity to review career goals and future prospects in the company
  3. To give them a chance to give us feedback on our management

Since we plan to continue to grow in the future, we do feel we need to establish some sort of formal process. Understanding that this will be a work in progress, we want to give it a shot. What are the essential ingredients to a successful performance review?

closed as too broad by Jim G., CincinnatiProgrammer, explunit, happybuddha, jcmeloni Sep 27 '13 at 0:33

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Are you looking at a specific industry ? – happybuddha Sep 26 '13 at 0:51
  • Feel free to be industry agnostic. – jmac Sep 26 '13 at 1:25
  • We have ongoing discussions, but the employees are requesting regular (quarterly? semi-annual? annual?) formal reviews as well. – jmac Sep 26 '13 at 11:49
  • Haven't your employees already given you what you need to cover in that list? – thursdaysgeek Sep 26 '13 at 16:04
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    I would be overjoyed if someone would get rid of the big time-waster that is performance reviews. Are they really asking for formal reviews or do they see that as the only way they can get raises or bonuses? Maybe they are really asking something different than you think they are. – HLGEM Sep 26 '13 at 17:29