Performance Reviews: A guide for hospitality leaders

>>>Performance Reviews: A guide for hospitality leaders
Performance Reviews: A guide for hospitality leaders 2019-04-04T13:30:56+01:00

I can hear hospitality teams all over the country breathing a collective sigh of relief. Christmas is over! As the festivities fade into distant memory, it’s time to reflect on progress during 2018 and start thinking about how to make 2019 your most successful year yet.

January can be a busy month for performance reviews (although in reality these should take place throughout the year). The start of the year is the perfect time for line managers to sit down with their team and discuss each person’s performance. A chance to talk about how individuals have developed in their roles and what kind of support they might need going forward.

Your people are your greatest asset. Your team has an impact on customer experience every single day; they make your organisational goals happen. Performance review conversations can be hugely motivational so conducting a balanced performance review is an essential skill to have in your manager’s toolkit.

Yet, in Gallup* research only 2 in 10 employees said their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. This is particularly disheartening given the uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on the hospitality industry. Retaining talent within your team is even more critical right now. Spending quality time with your people can bring huge benefits.

The benefits of performance reviews

For managers

A performance review is a two-way conversation used to guide, support and develop your team. It gives you:

  • Insight into the individual and their career aspirations so you can be a fully supportive as a line manager and create a winning team
  • Opportunity to be clear about the objectives and expectations you have set for your team, as well as gain feedback on your own performance.

For individuals

Spending dedicated time together is crucial to building a successful manager/employee relationship. An open and honest conversation lets both parties understand where they stand.  It’s a chance to:

  • Discuss career, development and growth aspirations
  • Suggest how to make improvements within the team
  • Learn about the aspirations and goals of the organisation and how you fit in
  • Share feedback on the manager’s performance.

For organisations

Future-focused organisations use performance reviews to establish the strengths and capabilities of the team, to:

  • Assess suitability to fill roles within the organisation
  • Identify where skills and capabilities might need a boost
  • Understand where further development support is required to help achieve organisational goals.

The 4 F’s of successful performance reviews

  1. Frequency

According to Gallup**, 26% of employees say their performance is evaluated less than once a year, while 48% say they are reviewed annually. Annual reviews are great for looking back over the year and consolidating where you stand, but employees and managers gain greater benefit from meeting more often. In fact, employees who have conversations with their manager in the past six months about their goals and success are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged***.

Quarterly review meetings allow for continual coaching and ensure both employee and manager are on track to achieve their objectives. Meetings should also be flexible (another F!) to respond to the achievements and expectations of the employee and the organisation.

  1. Focused

Performance reviews are most effective when both parties are clear about their expectations. The diagram below from Gallup outlines best practice. Set realistic objectives and accountability for each one. Objectives should focus on the aspirations of the individual and your organisation.

Credit: Gallup, 2018

  1. Feedback

Feedback is possibly the most effective form of development. Hearing feedback on your strengths and areas to improve from someone else’s perspective helps us to challenge and see beyond our current reality.

360 degree feedback is a popular tool that encourages individuals to gather feedback on their performance from a variety of other people within the organisation. If you’d like to develop your own skills in providing feedback, take a look at this Institute of Hospitality’s training workshop and learn how to give regular feedback and maximise the talents of your team.

  1. Future-oriented

Performance reviews exist to help you guide, support and develop your people. Whilst conversations should look back on performance since the last meeting, they must also focus on where the individual and the organisation aspire to be in the future. Keeping this front of mind will help you to build an engaged, motivated and effective team of individuals who can achieve their own career aspirations whilst delivering those of the organisation.

For further reading on Performance Reviews, see CIPD Performance Appraisals.

About Sally Prescott and Zest for Life

Sally Prescott has more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and has worked in and supported some of the sector’s most reputable organisations, including Forte Hotels, The Savoy, Jumeirah, AMBA Hotel Charing Cross, The Grosvenor Hotel and The Royal Horseguards. Zest for Life provides bespoke training and development programmes in customer service excellence, inspirational leadership, and coaching for teams and individuals, striving to deliver exceptional client experiences in everything they do. For more information, visit

* Gallup Performance Management Research, 2018, reviewing the thoughts and actions of more than 60 million employees.

** Source: Gallup ‘Give performance reviews that inspire employees’

*** Source: Gallup ‘Performance Management Ongoing Conversations

More from Sally?

Download her webinar, Performance Reviews – A guide for Hospitality Leaders



Further useful resources:

ACAS – Advisory booklet – Employee appraisal

If you would like access to further useful resources to support your business requirements visit our Knowledge Library.  If you are not a member, find out how to join and gain full access to these exclusive resources.