Adopting a new approach to employee performance reviews
Performance 3 minute read

Adopting a new approach to employee performance reviews

Rise | January 22, 2019

In response to both employer and employee preferences, performance reviews are becoming more frequent, more informal, and more forward-looking.

Immediate and frequent feedback often tops the list of things workers want. The antiquated model of annual appraisals is being replaced by continuous performance management, a process involving regular check-ins, real-time feedback, and agile goal management. As a result, many employers today are responding by providing feedback informally on a more ongoing basis.

Related reading: Macromagement, or The Case for the Coaching Management Style

Examples of types of reviews include

  1. Management reviews:
    The standard form of performance appraisal that usually involves written components.
  2. Project reviews:
    For employees who work on specific project assignments, these are conducted after each project is completed.
  3. 360-degree reviews:
    With this well-rounded approach, an employee’s co-workers and customers are invited to share their feedback as well. The aim here is to give a more complete picture of an employee’s performance.
  4. Employee self-evaluations:
    This promotes engagement and communications from the appraisal candidates themselves.

Related reading: How to Evaluate an Employee: Remote Performance Reviews

Discuss the past, present & future

When designing your employee performance review program, turn away from the traditional approach of placing the sole focus on reflecting on an employee’s past performance. Instead, put equal (or even more) emphasis on the employee’s future performance by discussing a plan to improve their current performance.

  • The purpose of a performance review is to provide the opportunity for your employees to reflect on the necessary skills and knowledge needed to achieve their goals. This is an important factor in the employee’s growth, and also in the health of the entire organization, as this directly affects employee engagement and retention.
  • Provide strengths-based feedback to your employees so they have something to build from. Every employee needs continual learning, and the performance review is a good place to spell out the details with a development plan. Managers should focus on a few skills that you recommend the employee to develop and then discuss these during the review meeting.
  • Support employees as well as managers in their development by providing skills and leadership training via opportunities and resources.
  • Encourage your employees to reflect on their own performance by providing their own self-review ahead of their performance review. Employees may highlight project or competency achievement examples unknown to the manager, and this insight can be helpful to know.
  • Whether done verbally or by giving a reward, it is important to recognize the successes achieved by your employees. Showing appreciation will boost employee morale as a whole.
  • Documentation is key. Keep records of performance reviews and outline the performance evaluation and management process. With HRIS technology, you can easily streamline the performance management process by setting goals, tracking accomplishments, and measuring KPIs all in one place.
  • In addition to general performance appraisal, look into establishing different frequencies of reviews when it comes to performance within your organization. Be open to providing ad hoc performance checkpoints, such as when working on a big project. The more opportunities there are for team members to share honest, clear, constructive, and actionable feedback, the more immediate changes can occur for improved performance.

A well-designed and executed performance management process can be a positive motivator for employees. Building this process out will take some work, but the outcome is a more engaged and productive team.

For more expert advice on staying competitive in today’s dynamic workplace, download our free guide on How to Improve Your Performance Management Process.

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