IT’S TIME TO SCRAP AN­NUAL EM­PLOYEE PER­FOR­MANCE RE­VIEWS

Multi na­tional com­pa­nies right down to smaller busi­nesses are still wast­ing their time with yearly or six monthly em­ployee re­views. This work prac­tice is out­dated and in­ef­fec­tive and can ac­tu­ally stunt busi­ness growth and drive down prof­its writes Mike Ir

Business First - - HR -

Re­al­is­ti­cally these 6 and 12 month staff re­views have sim­ply be­come a tick in the box ex­er­cise that can be a bur­den to both par­ties in­volved.

It lacks clear ob­jec­tives and can of­ten leave staff sec­ond guess­ing them­selves while they wait to hear if they’re per­formed well at work or not.

The whole process can be de-mo­ti­vat­ing for staff and of­ten su­per­vi­sors can feel com­pelled to give higher ap­praisal rat­ings, which em­ploy­ees may not de­serve, in the hope of keep­ing staff loyal rather than de­fen­sive.

Let’s not for­get the hours spent con­duct­ing these meet­ings and writ­ing re­ports, which equates to a large fi­nan­cial cost to the busi­ness with­out a demon­strated re­turn.

Some global com­pa­nies like Deloitte are start­ing to re­alise how point­less an­nual staff re­views are and in­stead are giv­ing on­go­ing feed­back with a weekly ten minute check in which staff have em­braced.

Reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween staff and their su­per­vi­sors, with no forms be­ing filled out, is one of the best ways to im­prove per­for­mance amongst work­ers.

It’s com­mon sense re­ally. If a boss is avail­able to hear staff con­cerns or even new ideas on a reg­u­lar ba­sis then it’s more likely im­me­di­ate ac­tion could be taken rather than 12 months down the track.

Any con­cerns a worker may have won’t end up be­com­ing big­ger prob­lems be­cause they will be dealt with in the early stages.

There is a lot of talk about ways busi­nesses can im­prove em­ployee en­gage­ment. In fact, it’s quite the buzz­word/topic at the mo­ment. The real prob­lem is not em­ployee en­gage­ment. It’s em­ployer (or su­per­vi­sor) en­gage­ment. Em­ploy­ees re­spond well to en­gag­ing su­per­vi­sors and busi­ness own­ers. An­nual re­views are an ex­am­ple of a lack of reg­u­lar and con­sis­tent en­gage­ment from su­per­vi­sors.

One ac­tion I strongly rec­om­mend busi­ness own­ers and su­per­vi­sors take is reg­u­lar check-ins. I’m talk­ing about a brief one on one in­for­mal meet­ing be­tween a su­per­vi­sor and em­ployee. The reg­u­lar­ity of these meet­ings will build stronger re­la­tion­ships. It will also im­prove morale as em­ploy­ees will know what they think is val­ued.

Smart busi­ness own­ers hire peo­ple that are bet­ter than they are in spe­cific ar­eas so they can solve prob­lems the busi­ness doesn’t know how to solve. This re­la­tion­ship is vi­tal for both par­ties to en­gage in con­sis­tently to get the de­sired re­sult. It’s the fun­da­men­tals of co­op­er­a­tion - a shared bright­ness of fu­ture, fre­quency of in­ter­ac­tion and pro­vok­a­bil­ity (which is good qual­ity com­mu­ni­ca­tion even in the tough con­ver­sa­tions).

Con­sis­tent team meet­ings will cre­ate a cul­ture where feed­back and opin­ions are shared in­creas­ing en­gage­ment be­tween ev­ery­one in­volved. Ev­ery­one on the team will start to look for­ward to these meet­ings and feel com­fort­able contributing with new ideas. This em­pow­ers ev­ery­one on the team to take own­er­ship of and help to pro­vide so­lu­tions to prob­lems the team is fac­ing. It also re­duces the like­li­hood of sep­a­ra­tion and ‘us ver­sus them’ men­tal­ity be­tween dif­fer­ent di­vi­sions of a busi­ness. It helps ev­ery­one to see that they are work­ing to­wards the same ob­jec­tive and to solve prob­lems as a whole.

Per­sonal De­vel­op­ment is key in get­ting the most out of your ex­ist­ing staff. Train­ing pro­grams tai­lored to in­di­vid­ual staff mem­bers on a one on one ba­sis will im­prove skills and con­fi­dence. It will also boost morale as staff will be ex­cited by learn­ing new con­cepts and work. They will feel chal­lenged and val­ued. Peo­ple who choose em­ploy­ment want more than just money out of the deal. They want to feel val­ued, be part of a team and they want to con­trib­ute. De­vel­op­ing peo­ple goes a long way in sup­port­ing that to hap­pen.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing staff and their con­tri­bu­tions are im­por­tant. Staff likes to hear reg­u­larly how well they are per­form­ing at work and will of­ten strive harder to achieve pos­i­tive feed­back.

Cre­at­ing a cul­ture where each in­di­vid­ual ac­knowl­edges them­selves for what they get done will im­prove per­for­mance far more than any per­for­mance re­view ever will. A per­son’s per­cep­tion of their own value and there­fore their con­fi­dence, is ei­ther de­ter­mined by ac­knowl­edge­ments from oth­ers, and / or ac­knowl­edge­ments from them­selves. If your team is al­ways wait­ing for ac­knowl­edge­ments from you (or their su­per­vi­sor) their con­fi­dence is be­ing af­fected and so is their per­for­mance. It’s far bet­ter for the source of that con­fi­dence to come from them­selves and that is a cul­tural thing within a team.

Founder of Ad­vanced Busi­ness Abil­i­ties, Mike Irv­ing spe­cialises in lead­er­ship and per­for­mance coach­ing.

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