Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Performance reviews often feel like a one-way, top-down process in which you, the boss, are judge and jury. But if reviews are instead a two-way street, employees feel significantly less defensive. How do you create this two-way process? Let’s look at some ideas.

First, you might ask the employee to write a self-evaluation prior to the review. How well did the employee meet their goals over the past year? How did they feel about their work? What did they do well? Where do they need more support? Ask them to open the meeting by sharing these thoughts. Letting them speak first helps diminish the sense of judgment by indicating that you are open to dialogue.

An additional step is to ask for employee peer reviews. Gathering additional observations, perspectives and comments about the employee’s job performance dilutes the sense that you alone are judging the work.

For the evaluation itself, do not use arbitrary numerical grades, especially without substantiating what they mean. Instead, focus on the job performance. How well did the person meet the goals set last year (or in their job description)? If you are going to use numbers, make sure they assess results (like “increased accuracy by 29%”).

“Meeting the goals set last year” (or in the job description) should be the focus of the review. Evaluate not the person but rather how well the person gets the job done. Shift to a results-oriented review rather than a personality-oriented one and set this focus both when you open the meeting and throughout the discussion. What actions (or attitudes) did the employee engage in that showed good work? What were the results those actions/attitudes achieved?

The discussion should be well-documented. Include any feedback you provide along with a record of the goals. Make sure each goal includes a time frame and a method of measuring whether the goal was attained. Both you and the employee can then determine whether they’ve succeeded in meeting or failed to meet the goal. Encourage the employee to keep a similar written record that they can use the following year in their self-evaluation.

If there’s a gap between your view of the employee’s work and their own, do not insist on your perspective. Instead, listen and talk through issues to try to determine what’s underlying job performance problems. At the end of the discussion, you and the employee should be on the same page.

Do not end the review until you have a plan: What will the employee do in the next year? What will they improve on in the next months? What support do they need to achieve those goals? As above, these plans should be results oriented rather than personality driven. The plan should also outline any training or coaching the employee needs, along with what the employer will do (in terms of money, time or personnel) to support the employee.

And always provide employees with a copy of the completed evaluation form.

Additional details

It’s important to separate a performance review from compensation discussions. Instead, conduct a salary review close to the time when raises are announced. If you conduct performance and salary reviews in the same discussion, the employee is likely to pay attention only to the money and miss the benefits of any coaching you offer.

The person who conducts the interview should be the supervisor or manager who has the most contact with the employee. They are in the best position to accurately assess day-to-day results. They should observe the process outlined above.

Provide notice of the performance review and let employees know that it is not a “judgment day.” Create a thoughtful schedule and publicize it to the company.

If you design and follow a meaningful system of coaching conversations that employees welcome, find useful and see as valuable, you will motivate employees to thrive in their careers. You get better quality work by correcting problems, supporting quality work and laying the groundwork for advancement in the company.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.