Why do people so often fear performance reviews? Do they still matter? Is there a way to make them better?
The answer is yes — they do still matter, and there are ways to make them not only better, but a people development tool that employees actually look forward to.
These seven steps are pulled from our free eBook “Pain-Free Performance Reviews: How to run modern, 360˚ review cycles,” which you can download for free here (no email required).
7 Steps to Pain-Free Performance Reviews
1. Focus on Development
Reviews are a great opportunity to help employees and managers develop. This opportunity is lost if a review is simply seen as an assessment or scorecard. Instead, frame reviews as an intentional way to pause and ask where the employee currently is in regards to performance, skills, and development, and where they need to and want to be.
2. Do Reviews More Often
A good performance review process will happen semi-annually or quarterly, depending on company needs. It is tough to feel motivated in December for feedback one has gained last January. Semi-annual or quarterly reviews are often enough to ensure feedback is given in a relevant timeframe. As Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author of “Drive” says, “There’s no way to get better at something you only hear about once a year.”
3. Include More Perspectives
Employees interact with a diversity of people at a company. Although managers review employee work, others also often have valuable perspectives to share. Employees themselves also have insight on their own strengths and weaknesses. For modern, 360° reviews: enable managers to provide feedback to employees as well as employees to provide feedback to managers, peers provide feedback to each other, and employees also write a self-assessment.
4. Complement with Other Feedback
Performance Reviews work best when complemented by other measures, such as Continuous Feedback, Manager Coaching, Checkins and 1:1 Meetings, and Pulse Surveys.
5. Create a “Feedback Culture”
Top companies like GE, Adobe, Gap, Deloitte, Accenture and Microsoft are shifting to create a “feedback culture” involving both ongoing and fluid feedback systems, as well as more structured, comprehensive processes like 360˚ performance reviews.
6. Reinforce the Positive
People want to know how they can improve, but also want to hear what they are doing well on, and that they are a valued part of their team. Lori Goler, Head of People at Facebook, says “The solution here is not to throw out performance reviews, but to build a culture and recognizes and rewards growth.”
7. Follow Up
Ask for feedback on the process, and optimize. Along the way, keep providing ongoing support on for employee’s learning and development.
Want concrete advice on how to run the most effective performance reviews at your company, and how to get everyone else on board, too?