Ask Katie: How should I handle employee reviews?

FirstlineFirstline January/February 2019
Volume 15
Issue 1

Checking in every six months, in a 360-degree format is what Katie Adams, CVPM, favors.

carballo/ / image work by Roxy Townsend

Q: I'm looking for recommendations about how to do our employee reviews? 

A: First of all, I love that you have employee reviews. Not everyone does and I think that's a missed opportunity to communicate with team members. I like 360-degree reviews, and I like conducting them every six months. If you aren't familiar, a 360 review means that everyone who works directly with the team member has an opportunity to provide them with feedback, typically anonymously. (Editor's note: Check out our guide to 360-degree reviews here.) The caveat is that when folks are providing feedback, they should only write what they'd be willing to say directly to that person. The point isn't to tear someone down, but rather to provide him or her with constructive feedback that they can use to improve. 

Conduct reviews on the anniversary of hire, and again six months after so that you aren't trying to compile reviews for everyone at the same time. Additionally, don't tie raises to reviews or they become expected. Give increases when they are earned. If you provide a cost-of-living raise annually, do so across the board at a designated time each year. 

Katie Adams, CVPM, is director of Curriculum Development at IGNITE Veterinary Solutions. Got a question for Katie? Email us at

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