How do you feel about giving feedback?  Do you dread it?   Is it something you give daily, weekly, monthly? Or is the process just dead?  Lately we’ve been doing a great deal of work with clients on Performance Management.   The top question we’re asked is, “Should we even bother doing performance reviews?”

Managers and supervisors want them gone because they take up so much time. Employees want them because it’s the only time they get a “report card.”  Are performance reviews worth the time and money spent?

When completed correctly, performance reviews play a key role in the achievement of business success.  Organizations need to view appraisals as part of an overall performance evaluation process vs. a “fill in the blank” once a year report.

The power to inspire

A review is a great communication tool that ensures that the manager/supervisor and the employee are clear about the requirements of the job.  It has the power to inspire people to give their best effort, as well as to make them feel respected and important.

A meaningful conversation can connect an employee to the organization’s purpose – give them a sense of belonging and make them feel like part of the company’s future.  Studies have shown how companies benefit when employees feel engaged and valued. To read more about a recent study click here.

Tips for better reviews

In a recent article “5 ways to evolve THE DREADED REVIEW,” Cornerstone OnDemand listed five tips that we agree will help you revive your organization’s performance review process:

  1. Performance happens daily (and reviews should, too).

You won’t dread writing a performance review if you’re taking performance notes frequently – the review will write itself.  Billions of dollars are wasted because companies “just do it” because they have to.  If progress or challenges are tracked on a regular basis then nothing will be a surprise to the employee and the focus can be on improvements and growth goals.

  1. Reviews should be conversations.

Try to make the review more natural, like a conversation rather than a form that you have to fill out.  Give clear and concise feedback, so it’s information that the employee can use moving forward.  Everyone appreciates a conversation, not a lecture.  Address accomplishments first, and then discuss areas for improvement.

  1. Reviews should have a purpose.

Managers need to see the value of performance reviews so they get done.  Use the process as a way to collect useful information on performance so the employee can benefit, too.  Indeed, when used correctly, reviews can enhance Performance Management throughout your entire organization.  They can be looked upon as a “win win” opportunity for both the employee and the manager.

  1. Embrace simplicity and consistency.

Why make a review lengthy and complicated?  Stick to the basics and give shorter, more frequent ones.   This gives a manager a good understanding of the happenings with their team, and it gives employees a chance to know how they’re doing.

  1. Change the review experience.

How effective is your approach?  Has your experience in the past been uncomfortable for yourself or your employee?  Try to make the review a useful, positive conversation that infuses you and the employee with new energy.

A whole system

At PDG, we  advise clients to think of Performance Management as much more than the basic ”end of the year” appraisal.  It should be a whole SYSTEM that includes the following tools that, when used in conjunction with the annual review, will heighten performance:

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Expectation Setting
  3. Continuous Feedback & Coaching
  4. Development
  5. Recognition & Reward

Performance Management raises individual performances within the organization and transforms goals into results. It focuses on the employee AND aligns them with the organization’s future plans.  Performance Management improves morale and increases productivity.  And it should all start the minute a new employee is on-boarded.

Make sure that you and your Leadership team is communicating the value and importance of this process within your organization.  Start your performance planning today!  For more information on how we can help you can create High Performing Organizations and Teams, please contact us or check out more information on our website.