Both leaders and employees alike hate the annual performance review. It’s awkward, outdated, and demotivates your workforce. In times where there is a fierce competition for talent, it’s important to adopt strategies that close skill gaps amongst your current employees. But your annual performance reviews are likely failing to support employee growth.
By replacing your once-a-year performance review with a modern performance management strategy, your talent will be better equipped to drive business outcomes.
Annual performance reviews are undeniably ineffective. In fact, a People IQ survey found that 87 percent of both managers and employees believed annual performance reviews weren’t effective or useful. And with 95 percent of managers reporting dissatisfaction with traditional performance reviews, it’s no surprise that the process is flawed.
The traditional review focuses on the past rather than the future, which can actively demotivate employees. While it’s important to hold your talent accountable for their outcomes—good or bad—it’s often difficult for employees to remember the full details of the past 12 months.
Employees prefer consistent, timely feedback to address roadblocks, receive recognition, and build a foundation of trust with their leaders. That’s why a less formal, more consistent approach to performance management is beneficial to employee, team, and business success.
Consistent one-on-ones build a foundation of trust and respect between managers and employees. These informal meetings serve as an opportunity to recognize employees for their hard work, assess roadblocks, and coach performance. Regular one-on-ones help managers evaluate results as they come, not months later. That way, you can correct ineffective processes before they become a habit. Plus, frequent one-on-ones let employees know that you care about their experience and performance. This helps boost engagement and motivates employees toward better outcomes.
2. Quarterly check-ins
Quarterly checks are a great supplement to your one-on-one opportunities. These meetings can be formal or informal to discuss performance from the previous quarter and look forward to next quarter. Check-ins help you further promote a relationship of trust with more interaction and prompt feedback. Plus, your preparation load as a manager will be reduced as you’re discussing shorter periods of time.
3. Continuous, two-way feedback
Continuous, two-way feedback is an imperative in organizational growth. This enables both employees and managers to ask for feedback. Not only does this make employees feel like their opinions matter, but it gives managers the insight they need to improve the employee experience and grow as a leader. In addition, your employees will be more likely to accept feedback without hesitance when it goes both ways.
4. Project-based feedback
Project-based feedback allows for a more timely and relevant assessment of employees’ work and opportunities for growth. While annual performance reviews focus on all outcomes of the past year, project-based feedback focuses on the last project an employee completed. With this approach, all details are fresh in an employees’ mind to discuss possible shortcomings or triumphs. With this insight, managers are better equipped to provide proper recognition and coaching. Moreover, your project-based feedback will better prepare employees for the next project they take on.
5. Goal-based check-ins
Goal-based check-ins help measure employee performance based on goals. These meetings help you track goal progress to uncover roadblocks and keep employees accountable. With consistent conversations, your employees will be more prepared to take the driver’s seat and accomplish goals that produce meaningful outcomes.
6. Career development conversations
Career development conversations help employees and managers align on the future. These conversations are an opportunity for managers to recognize employee talent, discuss next steps, and outline developmental opportunities. This helps to close skill gaps and communicates an employee’s value to the company, bringing their full potential to the surface.
As a leader, you know that performance conversations can be uncomfortable. Learn how to have impactful conversations that you don't dread with our Pocket Guide for Uncomfortable Performance Conversations.