There have been some rumblings in the corporate world that maybe the performance review is dead. The argument is that it’s outmoded. It’s ineffective. It’s from the world before the Internet. A survey by the consulting firm, Achievers, found that only 2% of HR people think that performance appraisals do anything useful.
The same study also found that there’s a huge gap between what CEOs think is happening with their employees and what employees say is happening. 57% of CEOs believe their employees are “regularly recognized” for their work, skills, and contributions. A mere 9% of employees agree.
That means that every 9 out of 10 employees don’t feel appreciated or recognized at work and according to the Accenture survey, over a third of employees say that they would quit a job if they don’t feel that their efforts are recognized or appreciated.
This is why the performance review will never die. It plays an integral role in the open line of communication between manager and employee, between feedback and silence. It is the chance to offer employees the acknowledgment that they’re looking for, to encourage them to strive for high levels of achievement, and to nip problems in the bud before they grow into thorny roses.
Hopefully, you view performance reviews first as a place to congratulate and thank your employees for the work they do for you. Performance reviews are a handy tool to help you figure our when an employee is meeting or exceeding expectations and whether he or she is ready to assume a greater share of responsibility within the company.
Picture this: you have a promotion up for grabs, but you have four employees vying to snag it. Looking over past performance reviews can help illuminate which one of those employees might be the best fit for a promotion this time around.
Employees that are loyal to a company will have an ever-expanding set of skills making them invaluable. Of course, employees want to be compensated for the value they bring to an organization and the organization wants to make sure it’s investing in its top talent with salary bumps or even bonuses.
Performance reviews can make this murky area a little clearer by offering objective insight into how and when to reward employees for their skill and value.
Performance reviews are also a space for both manager and employee to point out any gaps in training. Whether an employee’s performance is lagging behind because of the quality of training he or she received or whether the employee wants to take on additional training to prepare for future advancement within the company, this is a perfect time to talk about company goals and visions and make sure that everyone is on the same page and to plan for future training sessions as necessary.
This is the least fun number on this least, but not the least rewarding. In a perfect world, every employee would come to work on time, motivated, with boundless enthusiasm and energy, and try to excel in every task, but in the real world, that’s just not the case. If worst comes to worst, performance reviews can be a life (and litigation) saver if a terminated employee retaliates.
It’ll be easier to prove employee negligence, disobedience, harassment, or even criminal behavior later with a well-documented paper trail of the employee’s actions.
Performance reviews structured to be as brief as possible have no depth or specificity to bring value to either the employer or the employee. Providing explicit examples of either good or bad conduct will help maintain or improve performance.
Related to the first piece of advice, invest in the time needed to properly prepare for a performance review. If you have more than one employee to review, stagger them so you can give each employee the attention he or she deserves.
Reviews shouldn’t be over once they’re over. Follow up on the goals you and your employee set during the meeting, keep HR in the loop and continue to offer feedback.
Work environments can be busy, high-stress places so there’s no need to add any nagging worries about performance, which opens up the path for employees to reach their true potential. Performance reviews can give employees the space to know they’re doing well, meeting their goals, and making progress on their career paths.
When used correctly, performance reviews create a strong line of communication between manager and employee that stays open to update on progress, offer congratulations, tweak performance issues, and improve workplace morale.