Do Performance Reviews Work?

I know that most employees dread performance reviews. Managers don’t necessarily look forward to delivering them and many employees are not excited about receiving them. Historically, the forms are laborious and the rating system not useful. And often times, the system is not customized to the culture or innovative nature of the company.

I recently read Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do and afterwards felt inspired and encouraged by the alternatives that could make the performance review process much more effective. The ideas laid out in the book make sense – instead of providing a yearly review, why not provide ongoing and timely feedback so that employees can incorporate it immediately? Why not make the changes most crucial to your business now rather than waiting for the next yearly review?

While I am not advocating for you to completely abolish the performance review process, I think it is time to re-evaluate a company’s ‘status quo’ when it comes to performance evaluations. I recommend that you still record the information you discuss with employees on a regular basis (perhaps weekly), including documenting the date, topic and what was discussed in terms of next steps (it just doesn’t need to include the rating system). You will also want to include this documentation as you have future discussions regarding crossing off milestones, accomplishing objectives as well as making changes regarding employees’ responsibilities and performance goals.

Creating an innovative environment where employees are communicated with on a timely, real-time basis, could change how competitive and nimble you are in the marketplace. This new way of operating lets employees know where they stand and propels them forward, which often improves their day-to-day contribution.

For more information about enhancing your performance management methods, check out our blog.

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