Do you dread employee performance reviews?
Are your employees griping because their last performance review was 18 months ago? How objective is the process? Is it on a Likert-scale…“Does the employee engage in their daily task” 1 – 10….How effective is this? Often times the employee dreads the process as well, wondering their “score” and of course how much of a raise is in stored for them. 59% of employees state performance reviews are simply not worth the time invested – conferred by CEB Global. If so, are we wasting our time? Arguably, companies have forgotten the goal of an employee performance review — an appraisal for strengths, identification of weaknesses, and to explore opportunities for improvement. In fact, nearly 10% of Fortune 500 companies have done away with annual reviews according to the Institute for Corporate Productivity.
Why? – The common disconnect is the subjectivity that has inherently inserted itself within the processes as well as the misconception that management feedback is delivered in an awkward unidirectional annual review.
Yet you still need a centralized tool in which measures growth and identifies areas of weakness to deduce whether or not additional wages, promotions, training, or terminations are warranted…Hence why performance evaluations still have an evident presence in organizations. – So if you’re not a Fortune 500 company with millions to experiment on human capital performance models, how do you accomplish performance evaluations and do them well?
Who’s to say employee performance reviews need to be annual? Management feedback is a powerful tool. There’s nothing more frustrating to an employee than if their manager waits all year to tell them what they were doing wrong – take the time to address issues as they arise.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be crystal clear to each employee; but you simply can’t set high goals without a powerful and proven strategy that can guide the way to success. If your employees don’t know where they are going…any road will take them there. Next, as we’ve all learned in business school, the KPIs must be “quantifiable”, something that can be measured. Asking if the employee is engaged on scale of 1 – 10 is only effective if you have a measurement system that assesses level of engagement; using your “judgment” or trying to recollect their performance for the past year is highly inefficient and is a disservice to your employee.
When employees detect they may be evaluated in a bias manner, the review process is derailed, the manager to employee relationship is now tarnished…you’re now the bad person and now they’re disengaged.
Objectivity & Bidirectional Communication
The key to success is to incorporate performance dashboards that mirror the accountability agreement; dashboards can display standards while comparing the employee’s actual performance. This setting provides a discussion to address gaps or applaud where their performance exceeded the standard. When an employee can literally SEE their performance, it’s a tangible value that in many times turns into intrinsic motivation to set the bar higher. The manager is no longer “the bad person” and instead you are simply showing the facts and providing your leadership ability to devise how the employee will address deficiencies and or develop. This also opens the door to bi-directional communication; the employees can ask questions and engage into the process.
In previous positions I’ve sent the employee a copy of their monthly or quarterly performance within the dashboard setting and ensured I offered advice on key areas while welcoming questions. This shaped a culture that welcomed management feedback; it then became expected. The performance review process became anticipated because they too knew what was in store for them at the end of the year. Embrace dashboards – it will further assist you in controlling and monitoring performance as it erodes the subjectivity that systemically derails traditional evaluation forms.
For assistance in digital dashboard creation, quantifying KPIs, and performance evaluation culture integration contact The Growth Company at 907.276.4769 or visit www.thegrowthcompany.com.
© Marcus Bobbitt is the COO of The Growth Company Inc, a Human Resource consulting firm based in Anchorage Alaska.