The annual employee performance review is no longer an ideal solution to evaluate employee performance. It's slow, outdated, and unable to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the modern workplace.
This three-part blog series will focus on a more effective approach to employee performance: ongoing performance conversations.
Take a moment to think about how much has changed in your life, both personally and professionally, over the last year. What affected your performance last year may be drastically different now because various milestones have impacted your current motivations, career aspirations, and how you view your role.
The same is true for employees, which is why annual performance reviews don’t work. Discussions shouldn’t end when performance meetings do—the follow-up is just as important as the conversation. Consistent follow-up allows managers to work alongside employees, helping them overcome performance challenges while holding them accountable for agreed-upon goals.
Here are five tips for performance review follow-up:
After the performance review meeting is over, share your notes with the employee. Ask them to compare, comment, and make any adjustments based on their takeaways. Once you’re both aligned on the takeaways and next steps, document the conversation, preferably electronically. This creates proof of what was agreed upon that can be referenced by both parties and referred to in your next 1-on-1 meeting.
If an employee is meeting or exceeding their goals, recognize their achievements to motivate continued strong performance. If the employee is falling short, talk with them about why their goals aren’t being met. Are there roadblocks preventing success? Is something outside of work impacting their job performance? Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate performance and construct an employee performance improvement plan.
The needs of employees and businesses constantly evolve, and managers need to keep pace with these changes. Strive to understand what’s impacting each employee’s performance, both positively and negatively. Periodically checking in with employees gives you an objective view of each employee’s current status. Show interest in an individual’s success to build the relationship and create trust.
As situations change, employee goals and projects may need to be adjusted accordingly. Employees should be encouraged to discuss potential adjustments with you. Create a culture where employees feel comfortable bringing up comments or concerns based on the changing environment.
You can’t be expected to keep up with the day-to-day workings of every employee. Draw feedback from other team members to gain a well-rounded view of employee performance and how teammates interact with each other. It can be difficult to give and receive feedback, but you want to create a culture where employees can be open and direct with each other and take constructive criticism without bruising egos.
After a performance review, employees want follow-up from their managers. They desire continuous feedback of their progress, job status, and potential development opportunities.
When you agree on goals and initiatives during your performance conversation, employees want to know that you’re actively keeping track of their career trajectory, not shoving their file in a drawer until next year. Ensure nothing gets lost in your performance conversations with our Performance Review Checklist.