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8 signs your performance review process needs to change

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If you’ve been using the same per­for­mance review process for a long time with­out mak­ing changes, it could prob­a­bly do with some adjust­ments — or even a com­plete over­haul. Accord­ing to the Soci­ety for Human Resource Man­age­ment (SHRM), 77% of HR execs believe per­for­mance reviews aren’t an accu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of employ­ee per­for­mance, indi­cat­ing that many organ­i­sa­tions aren’t using this cru­cial per­for­mance man­age­ment tool to its full poten­tial. If you recog­nise any of the fol­low­ing signs with­in your company’s per­for­mance review process, it’s time to rethink your cur­rent strategy.

1. Every­one in your organ­i­sa­tion dreads per­for­mance reviews

    When per­for­mance reviews come around, do you notice that employ­ees become anx­ious and stressed out? If there’s a gen­er­al feel­ing of ten­sion and dis­com­fort in the office around per­for­mance review sea­son, there’s some­thing wrong with your cur­rent process. If your entire work­force is on edge, this may indi­cate that they aren’t sure where they stand, per­haps because you are not pro­vid­ing feed­back regularly.

    2. Feed­back isn’t rel­e­vant to cur­rent performance

    If man­agers aren’t pro­vid­ing employ­ee feed­back often enough, your teams miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain valu­able insight into their cur­rent per­for­mance. Use­ful feed­back relates to what’s going on in the busi­ness now, as this can be act­ed upon and ensures a real impact. Man­agers should be encour­aged to offer con­tin­u­ous feed­back rather than wait until the next for­mal review to raise concerns.

    3. Man­agers are reluc­tant to pro­vide hon­est feedback

    Hon­est feed­back is cru­cial if you want per­for­mance reviews to be effec­tive. In a sur­vey by Zenger and Folk­man on gen­er­al atti­tudes toward feed­back, 92% of respon­dents agreed with the asser­tion, Neg­a­tive (redi­rect­ing) feed­back, if deliv­ered appro­pri­ate­ly, is effec­tive at improv­ing per­for­mance.” If man­agers are afraid of con­fronta­tion and are will­ing to pro­vide only pos­i­tive feed­back, employ­ees are miss­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for devel­op­ment, which may cause per­for­mance to stagnate.

    4. Your peo­ple aren’t developing

    If your organ­i­sa­tion holds per­for­mance reviews, but your employ­ees aren’t devel­op­ing between meet­ings, this is a sign of inef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion. For employ­ees to grow and per­for­mance to improve, thought­ful feed­back is essen­tial — per­haps your man­agers would ben­e­fit from addi­tion­al train­ing on dis­cus­sion points to improve per­for­mance conversations?

    5. Employ­ees are sur­prised by the feed­back given

    Employ­ees shouldn’t be tak­en aback by feed­back, so if this is hap­pen­ing reg­u­lar­ly with­in your per­for­mance review process, it’s a clear sign that some­thing needs to change. A process of con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment would ensure reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion between man­agers and employ­ees, help­ing to fos­ter open and hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion so that employ­ees are nev­er blindsided.

    6. Your employ­ee turnover rate is high

    Did you know that 24% of work­ers would con­sid­er leav­ing their jobs if man­agers pro­vide inad­e­quate per­for­mance feed­back? An effec­tive per­for­mance review process can reduce employ­ee attri­tion by ensur­ing employ­ees know where they stand and are giv­en the tools need­ed to grow pro­fes­sion­al­ly. If you’re tired of los­ing your best peo­ple, using an effec­tive per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem is an excel­lent place to start.

    7. Your best employ­ees lose out

    With­in many organ­i­sa­tions, it’s com­mon for the best-per­form­ing employ­ees to receive the least feed­back. Although it’s great that your staff are doing so well, there’s always a way for them to be even bet­ter — they just need a lit­tle guid­ance. Encour­ag­ing employ­ees to sim­ply keep doing what they’re doing robs them of the oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow and devel­op professionally.

    8. Reviews hap­pen once a year

    Research from Gallup shows that employ­ees whose man­agers hold reg­u­lar meet­ings with them are almost three times more like­ly to be engaged. Engaged employ­ees feel hap­py, ful­filled and com­mit­ted to their work, boost­ing per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. How can you expect to improve employ­ee engage­ment with­in your busi­ness if per­for­mance reviews hap­pen annually?

    There’s no sense in wait­ing for a year­ly review peri­od to let employ­ees know how they’re doing at work. Com­mu­ni­cate with them reg­u­lar­ly as part of an ongo­ing per­for­mance man­age­ment strat­e­gy, pro­vid­ing feed­back on what they’re doing well or could improve on.

    If your exist­ing per­for­mance review process needs work, the Clear Review team would love to help. Our con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware makes it easy to move away from annu­al appraisals, with a sin­gle plat­form that enables you to boost engage­ment, improve well-being and effec­tive­ly man­age performance.

    To see it in action for free, fill out our book a demo form, and a mem­ber of our expert team will be in touch.