"As a newer Manager over the last couple years and giving Employee Reviews I don't feel I've done a good job at. The employees don't seem to be engaged or energized by them. We discuss the year in review and what they need to improve on but the conversations are definitely one-sided. Is there a better format for a Employee Review and what should it consist of?"
Great question, Employee Reviews are a fantastic opportunity for an organization to gain valuable insight into their employees' psyche. This is an opportunity to gauge your employees' happiness not only with their job, but your company on a macro level. Another important thing you can find out is what their career passions are so you can properly groom them. I know Managers don't like to hear that their employees want to do something else other then the job they are in especially if they are good at it. But is it not better to learn that so you can find a way to keep them in the organization rather then lose them to to another company, even a competitor and find out why they left the hardway?
So here are my recommendations of what a Employee Review should look like: