The annual review is a mechanism to assess the professional aptitude of your employees. It is not mandatory but strongly recommended. This review is a privileged moment of exchange with your employee on his working year. 

You want to conduct an annual review of your employees, but you don't know how to do it? Here are some tips to make your annual performance review a success.

1. Inform employees about assessment techniques

Informing employees is the basis for the success of your annual meeting.

As an employer, you are required by law to inform employees in advance of the methods and techniques of professional evaluation that will be used in their regard. Moreover, no information concerning an employee personally can be collected by a system that has not been brought to his attention beforehand.

In practice, many employees dread the annual appraisal. To avoid this fear among your employees, it is important to inform them in a clear and precise manner about the contours of this annual interview. 

The transmission of this information is very important, as it allows employees to prepare for the annual meeting with peace of mind. It is possible to inform employees by e-mail or post.

Precisions - The annual interview must concern all the employees of your company. 

💡 Good to know - It is important not to confuse the professional interview with the annual interview. Every two years, the employer is obliged to organize a professional interview with the employee devoted to his or her professional development prospects, particularly in terms of qualifications and employment.

2. Prepare the support for the annual interview

After having informed your employees, it is important to prepare the content of the annual review. 

To guide you throughout the annual meeting, you can use an evaluation or assessment grid. This support will serve as a basis for discussion during the interview. You can also use an annual interview template.

The objective of this support is to set the evaluation criteria and to take stock of the work accomplished by the employee throughout the year.  

💡 Good to know - Employee evaluation is subject to specific rules.

To prepare your annual interview material, it is recommended to: 

  • Set objectives that are common to all employees: corporate culture, rigor, professionalism, interpersonal skills, etc.  
  • Set objectives linked to the employee's job and missions: these objectives must be planned according to the employee's job. For example, for an employee of your marketing team, you can choose performance, analysis, creativity, etc. as criteria.
  • Define the evaluation methods: during the interview, each criterion set must be evaluated. To do this, you must set the evaluation methods. You can, for example, use 4 levels of evaluation: insufficient, to be improved, objective achieved, excellent. You can also add comments after each evaluated objective. The idea is to give advice to the employee, but also to help him/her understand the points to be improved.

💡 Good to know - Remember to consult the collective agreement applicable to your company. It is possible that it contains rules relating to the annual interview. In particular, some collective bargaining agreements provide evaluation grid models.

3. The course of the review

The annual meeting should be a time for constructive discussion with your employee. To do this, you can start by reviewing the past year, then discuss the objectives for the coming year. Finally, you can schedule a time to discuss the employee's job more globally (conditions and quality of life at work, changes in assignments, etc.).

💡 Good to know - To be effective, the interview must be structured. To do this, be open to discussion while following the interview framework you have created.

In order to facilitate the exchanges, it is important to put your employee at ease. The annual meeting should not be a monologue on your part. It is important to give your employees time to speak. For example, instead of doing a review of the employee's work year yourself, you can offer to do so. 

With this type of approach, you make the interview more dynamic, and you can more easily bounce back and comment on the employee's statements.

To close the annual meeting, you can make a concise summary of the discussions.

4. Remember to write a report!

After the annual meeting, it is strongly recommended to write a report summarizing the whole meeting. 

In principle, it is not mandatory to give the employee a written report of the annual meeting. However, the collective agreement applicable to your employees may impose such an obligation on you.

💡Good to know - It is recommended that you produce two copies of the interview minutes, one for the employee and one for your human resources team.

To help you write your minutes, consider using the annual interview template: comments, employee remarks, criteria evaluated, etc.

This report allows you to:

  • summarize the discussions that took place during the interview;
  • to set clear and precise objectives for the employee for the coming year.

5. Follow up on the interview

To be fully effective, the annual performance review must be accompanied by an appropriate and regular follow-up. 

After having conducted all the annual interviews of your employees, it is important to take a step back and analyze the content of these interviews. 

The objective is to improve decision-making within the company thanks to these interviews. For example, these interviews can be used to anticipate future needs in terms of human resources (e.g. career development, skills management...).

💡 Good to know - In addition to the annual interview, you can set up monthly or quarterly interviews with your employees to review the achievement of set objectives. 

With regular and continuous monitoring, you can notably ensure that your employees have the necessary means to achieve these objectives.