Conducting performance reviews for your security officers is a necessity for promoting good morale and ensuring that your officers know what is expected of them. Unfortunately many managers and supervisors dread conducting employee reviews. Oftentimes this reluctance stems from not being able to find the right words to describe the employee or fear of a confrontation during the review. I’ve put together this short list of tips to aid you in conducting a security officer performance review and hopefully help ease some anxiety.
1. Define the purpose of the review
Although both you and the officer know the type of information that will be discussed, the performance review should have a greater goal. The overall goal of the performance review should be to provide the officer with actionable steps that she can take to help her master some specific skill. That skill could be something that helps her perform her job better or possibly prepare her for a promotion.
2. Have a formal performance review document
Both you and your officer should have a formal performance review document to help guide the review. This document should cover the various responsibilities that the officer has while on duty.
3. Only evaluate officer performance
When evaluating the officer’s performance you should be basing the review on quantifiable data. That data might include the number of times that the officer was late, the quality of reports submitted, or the number of completed patrols at their site. If you are using security guard management software this information should be readily available.
Additionally, remember to avoid using subjective terminology such as “bad attitude” “polite” or “rude” or “nice”. If you use terms like “nice” in employee appraisals, other employees could say that you simply like that employee more or are discriminating based on some personal prejudice. You must also be aware that employment lawyers may seize on an opportunity to say that such subjective words are a secret code that shows discrimination.
4. Start on a positive note and be objective about the negative
When starting your performance review it’s always best to start by telling your officers how you value them as part of the team and discuss the things that they are doing well. By starting off with the positive aspects of their performance your officers are less likely to feel the need to be defensive.
When it is time to discuss the negative aspects of the officer’s performance, be sure to be clear and concise and refrain from using judgmental language. Remember to use specific examples and back those examples up with quantifiable proof…see tip #3.
5. Avoid confrontation
Most importantly, you must remember to avoid confrontation. Although performance reviews can be tense, the purpose of the review is to help the officer improve her performance. Using the performance review as an opportunity to attack the officer will only lower morale and worsen job performance.
6. Make the review a conversation
In addition to taking the opportunity to inform the officer of how you view her performance, ensure that you also give the officer an opportunity to voice her opinion about her own performance. In fact, many organizations will ask their employees to do a self-assessment. What you will find is that employees will often times be harder on themselves than you would ever be.
7. Summarize the performance review
Finish the review by recapping the key points discussed and any follow-ups that have been agreed upon. Also don’t forget to thank the employee for her participation and also ask how you can be more supportive or a better manager.
I would consider this list a great foundation for conducting security officer performance reviews. What other tips would you add?
By Courtney Sparkman