Had your per­for­mance re­view?

Myrtleford Times - - REGIONAL EXTRA - A) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) KEN CLARKE, WAN­GARATTA CER­TI­FIED PRAC­TIC­ING AC­COUN­TANT kenclarke1­1@big­pond.com

PER­FOR­MANCE re­views can be time con­sum­ing and un­pro­duc­tive and for the em­ploy­ees, they can of­ten be stress­ful and ir­rel­e­vant.

The per­for­mance re­view is some­thing that has been around since the last cen­tury and some of the lead­ing gov­er­nance ex­perts be­lieve the time may have come to throw them in the ditch.

They say they have not come across any re­search that proves that a per­for­mance re­view will in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity.

I would be­lieve that peo­ple dread the thought of the rit­ual they need to go through.

One or­gan­i­sa­tional per­for­mance spe­cial­ist said that in his re­search across 21 dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries, he heard eight prob­lems that ex­isted:

the per­for­mance re­view is costly; it can be de­struc­tive; the for­mal­ity of the event sti­fles gen­uine dis­cus­sion; it oc­curs once in a blue moon; it is per­ceived as a form-fill­ing ex­er­cise;

it doesn’t get fol­lowed up – un­til next year; it is usu­ally a mono­logue; and peo­ple find it very stress­ful. So why do we con­tinue to have this re­view process?

Some be­lieve we should shift the fo­cus from ap­prais­ing to de­vel­op­ing an em­ployee’s per­for­mance.

Con­ver­sa­tions re­gard­ing em­ployee’s de­vel­op­ment should be hap­pen­ing mo­ment by mo­ment, day by day, and be part of an on­go­ing process, not a once a year event.

Per­for­mance re­views are some­times flawed, but they are hard to fix.

Yet we can­not seem to “ditch” the per­for­mance re­view sim­ply be­cause we can­not help judg­ing how oth­ers per­form.

Even with­out for­mal re­views, we still con­tinue to eval­u­ate how our work­ers are per­form­ing.

Some man­agers will ad­just the re­sults of for­mal per­for­mance re­views to fit their as­sess­ment of who is the best (and the worst) per­former.

It may be worth scru­ti­n­is­ing whether per­for­mance re­view sys­tems add more than they cost.

For­mal re­views can cause anx­i­ety be­cause there is a like­li­hood of a bi­ased judge­ment be­ing made.

But surely in this day and age it is pos­si­ble to have reg­u­lar and open-ended dis­cus­sions with­out a for­malised sys­tem.

If you are con­sid­er­ing up­grad­ing your per­for­mance re­view, a good start­ing point may be to ask the em­ploy­ees which per­for­mance out­comes mat­ter to them.

Work­ers may have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties to those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, but there may be more com­mon ground than peo­ple re­alise.

Some com­pa­nies have shifted their an­nual per­for­mance pro­cesses to a new per­for­mance achieve­ment ap­proach that in­cludes real time, for­ward-look­ing con­ver­sa­tions about the set­ting of pri­or­i­ties, grow­ing on the em­ployee strengths and cre­at­ing re­ward­ing ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties for them.

An ap­proach such as this will en­able em­ploy­ees to fre­quently dis­cuss pri­or­i­ties with their su­per­vi­sors and ca­reer coun­sel­lors who in turn will pro­vide feed­back to help them progress.

In terms of re­fresh­ing per­for­mance re­views, it is im­por­tant for em­ploy­ers to re­flect upon what they hope to achieve through the per­for­mance cy­cle.

Will this be enough for the em­ployee to recog­nise their tal­ents and grow from the eval­u­a­tion to pos­si­bly be­come the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers?

Per­for­mance–re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties need to be rel­e­vant and mean­ing­ful to the in­di­vid­ual.

The in­di­vid­ual on­go­ing man­age­ment of tal­ent may see you bet­ter po­si­tioned for the fu­ture.

But be­fore you throw out the an­nual per­for­mance re­view make sure you have some­thing in place to re­place it.

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