Had your performance review?
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.