One of the biggest driving forces behind a strong financial plan is a team of great employees. All staff members have to understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, and this task falls on the shoulders of the business owner.

Every year, the time comes to provide annual employee reviews. However, many bosses fear this important step, because it can be painstaking, complicated and nerve wracking. Even so, the review process is critical to the overall success of the company. When done correctly, there will be a significant production improvement across the entire operation.

With that in mind, here are three steps to ensure that employee reviews are completed successfully and on time:

1. Create clear goals early
 In order to pull off the perfect employee review, a small business owner must have clear, concise benchmarks established as early as possible, according to Inc. magazine. These can come directly from the job description, and that will make it easy to compare the current staff member's performance against their assigned duties. The earlier the better when it comes to evaluations.

"Unfortunately, very few companies 'get' performance management," Rick Galbreath, president of Illinois-based Performance Growth Partners, told the news source. "They think it's all about the appraisal form and the process. These are important, but good performance management starts well before the evaluation itself."

2. Set aside the time
Many bosses complain that there just isn't enough time for an employee review. This should never be the case, and improving a financial plan and other managerial aspects requires a positive mindset. Entrepreneur magazine noted that postponing a review increases nervousness and sensitivity, and it could be misinterpreted as a negative. This should never be the case, and meetings should happen promptly, exactly when they are scheduled.

3. Keep the meeting on track
Most quality employee reviews run from between 40 minutes to one hour, Inc. magazine explained. This amount of time allows the participant to air any problems or concerns, and it prevents them from feeling rushed or disrespected. In addition, there shouldn't be any interruptions. The meeting has to take place in a comfortable, private environment, ideally in a setting that doesn't feel overly formal. Better yet, the small business owner will deliver all the good news first, and then close with any bad news. That step should be followed by goals and benchmarks for next year, so the employee has something to strive toward.