The trend away from formal annual performance reviews may be picking up steam, but that doesn’t mean that employees no longer need feedback or guidance. In fact, changing workforce demographics- among other factors- mean that feedback is more important than ever for healthy growth in your staff and in your company as a whole. The best managers view the employee review process as a coaching task that can help all employees improve their job performance and satisfaction.
The key to making this work: ask, don’t tell.
Performance reviews can be a time for of delicate conversations, honest feedback, and thoughtful goals that help employees improve their skills and put them on the right career path. Ideally, these conversations should be objective and fair. But unfortunately, there is no single universal standard or guideline about what makes for a fair performance review. There are plenty of review methods to choose from, but they all offer differing levels of criteria and terms with broad interpretations.
When you’re recruiting and hiring new employees, the right skills and experience are probably at the top of your list of priorities. But while these factors are great at predicting whether a candidate will be technically equipped to do the job well, they don’t tell you much about how well they’ll fit in with your workplace’s culture, or how well they’ll work with the rest of their team.
HR managers routinely identify employee reviews as their least favorite part of the job. To most managers, reviews are time-consuming, awkward, clunky, and of questionable value. That perception, in large part, has driven some trailblazing companies to abandoning annual reviews completely.
But while formal review processes may have fallen out of vogue at some well-known companies, they’re here to stay for most industries, at least for the foreseeable future. That’s because, no matter how the process gets handled, employees need thoughtful feedback to motivate them and help them improve their job performance.