How Annual Reviews May Not Be the Best Approach
If you want to leverage your team’s talents and help them grow, the old ways of providing feedback are not conducive to driving behavioral change in your team members. New approaches to feedback can support change and drive results.
What’s an annual performance review and what are the issues with them?
The annual performance evaluation process is an annual nightmare for employees and bosses. As employees, we know when “evaluation season” comes each year, and we dread it. We wonder what little things we did and don’t remember will be dredged up. As bosses, we have several employees to evaluate using a form that we likely had no voice in creating. We likely didn’t get any training on how to fill out the form, on what we should focus on, or why. We are given a rating scheme that we have to complete to tell employees if everything they did in the last year was up to par or not. It is not a joyous season for anyone.
Why are employee performance reviews less than ideal?
When we step back and really think about the intent of these systems, we find that we want people to use their knowledge and talents at work and continue to grow their knowledge and talents. In addition, we want them to find fulfillment in their work as they will be more engaged and productive. So how does a laundry list of things one person thinks they did right or wrong support growth?
We have to recognize that annual reviews are not doing what employees or leaders want them to do. This is challenging as the annual evaluation has been around for ages and is used in the largest, most successful businesses. We have to acknowledge, however, that no one is learning, growing, or becoming more confident in their abilities from the annual review. The research has been conducted, and we need to shift our paradigm.
What should employers do instead of annual reviews?
To start, stop keeping track of everything that was done wrong. Instead, keep track of the things that are done well. Better yet, recognize excellence at the moment and explain why it was excellent. Then, when we identify excellence in action and tell them how it made us feel, they will see what excellence looks and feels like. They will capture that moment and all the details in their minds and label them as excellent. They have learned what excellence is.
Annual reviews have been around for ages and eliminating them is a hard sell, but it’s worth examining and transforming a process that does more harm than good.
How can Mariposa Consulting help?
There’s extensive research that can guide us in developing a feedback process that supports real improvement for employees and businesses alike. To learn more, start your free 30-day trial of the Transformation Studio and learn how to start giving your team members the feedback they really need when they need it.
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