10 Ways to Run Better Employee Reviews

17 Mar, 2021

The continual improvement of employees is crucial to the growing of all businesses and it is encompassed within the Competence Training and Awareness element of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

A key element which underpins the continual improvement of employees is robust but fair employee reviews.

What are employee reviews?

Employee reviews are the analysis and evaluation of an employee’s performance in relation to the activities included within the duties and responsibilities that they hold within a business.

Taking place between an employee and senior management, it seeks to highlight the activities that have gone well or what can be improved on.

Unfortunately, there are some organisations that don’t carry our regular employee reviews.  However, when carried out in a fair and honest manner, they are beneficial to both parties:

Why do they matter?


  • Can highlight any requirements for additional training.
  • Increasing performance to potentially improve employee engagement.
  • Recognising issues before they become a concern.


  • Allowing a platform to voice any aspects of their work life can make them feel valued.
  • Ensures that employees are aware of what is expected of them via set goals and targets.
  • Provides reassurance that the employee is doing well and highlights areas for continual improvement.

How to conduct a review

To conduct an effective employee review, the following must be considered:

  1. Ensure that both parties have time to prepare and that they are each able to share thoughts and opinions.
  2. Create a structure to ensure all aspects and elements are discussed.  For example, what’s gone well, what hasn’t gone well, how they can overcome these challenges etc.
  3. Identify their strengths and successes.  This can be a real confidence booster which will not only be of benefit to them but also your organisation through high performance and increased loyalty. 
  4. Ensure the review is balanced. As well as highlighting areas for improvement, you should also take this opportunity to acknowledge the good and thank them for their hard work. 
  5. Feedback, whether good or bad, should not be a surprise.  Praise or a simple thank you should be given to employees regularly, helping to make them feel valued.  Any issues should not be left to fester.  It is unproductive and should be addressed prior to the meeting.
  6. Listen to your employees. The process will not be effective if employees do not feel as though their opinions and thoughts are valued.
  7. Set goals for the future.  This could be working on a new project or putting time into their personal development with further training.  Make sure to include them in on the decision process that they are able to raise any concerns. 
  8. Discuss their career development.  Where do they hope to be in one, three or even five years time? Employees who can progress and grow are less likely to leave an organisation. 
  9. Ask about your own performance and whether there’s anything you can do to support them further. 
  10. Keep them regular.  We personally hold our reviews on a quarterly basis, but they should be held at least twice a year. 

How does this relate to ISO 9001 Quality Management?

The underlying purpose of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System is to guarantee a consistent level of quality and satisfaction.

Conducting regular employee reviews will enable a business to not only determine the level of competence of each employee but their overall happiness too.  After all, happy employees = happy customers. 

Ultimately, people play a vital part of any organisation and therefore employers should work with them to make sure they are able to perform to the best of their ability. 

You can find more information regarding the ISO 9001 Quality Management System here.  In addition, sign up to our free ‘Introduction to ISO 9001’ online learning module here.

ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.

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