Three Ways to Reform the Performance Review

by Courtney LeCompte on August 20, 2018

in Performance Management

insurance claims adjuster meeting with a client

Google the term “employee performance review” and you will quickly realize that the latest business trend is to ditch them entirely. They are time consuming, administrative, and are often disconnected to actual work performed. They can even be harmful to an employee’s morale if not delivered correctly.

But removing performance reviews entirely … is that really a smart business move for the majority of organizations? What is worse than removing them entirely? NOT replacing them with anything!

Here are three approaches to retain the benefits of a performance review and make them easier and more effective:

  1. Real-Time Feedback

    In a study conducted by Wakefield Research, more than 90% of employees preferred their managers discuss mistakes and performance in real time, rather than at an annual performance review. Providing feedback to employees in real time demonstrates investment in their personal development, which leads to increased engagement, and often higher levels of productivity.

  2. One-on-One Meetings

    In addition to real time feedback, implementing weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings can serve as a valuable time of check-in between a manager and direct report. In just 30-60 minutes, managers and employees have the opportunity to connect on current projects, questions, future initiatives, and action items. Once the meetings are scheduled, it is important to follow through with the meeting as consistently as possible, as repetitive cancellations can communicate that the meeting is not of value.

  3. Performance Reviews and Goals – Quarterly

    Annual performance goals can easily be forgotten by the end of the year. Increasing the frequency of goals to quarterly (or even monthly), will hold an employee accountable and ensure goals remain a priority. Quarterly performance meetings can be spent first reviewing the past quarter, followed by the goals and action items for the quarter ahead. If one-on-one meetings are conducted frequently, nothing discussed relative to performance should be a surprise to the employee during a quarterly review.

Ideally, feedback should be linked to an organization’s strategy so employees understand how their individual performance is directly impacting the business.

No matter the frequency, approach, or formalization of an employee’s performance review, remember to document, document, document. Documenting employee performance (good and bad) can justify decisions and reduce liabilities.

If you would like to discuss the best performance approval for your organization, we’re here to help.

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