Perhaps you’ve read them—the stories from a handful of HR pundits and bloggers claiming that employers are utterly “abolishing,” “eliminating” and “eradicating” their performance appraisals.This rhetoric may grab readers’ attention but it simply isn’t true.If you read beyond their sensationalistic headlines, the stories themselves often reveal that performance appraisals are not being wiped out. In fact, they’re evolving. Employers are transforming their appraisals and their appraisal processes—and it’s about time.
Focusing on employee development does a company good. Why, then, have performance reviews become so disconnected from the employee development process at so many organizations? Sadly, the reason performance reviews become so disconnected from employee development is this: managers typically receive precious little training on how to conduct effective reviews—or even how to manage others well!
The world of performance assessments for the enterprise organization is not immune to these trends. In fact, the opposite is the case: Performance assessment must embrace every facet of what mobility means to American business today.
Do you evaluate your employees? If so, by what means? Research shows that 80% of companies conduct performance appraisals of their salaried employees. Out of the companies polled, 69% are still using antiquated means.
In order for high performers to contribute to the bottom line, they need a runway for success. That includes dedicated development plans and budgets. It also means continually assessing their contributions to make sure the company can plan for the future.
The days are gone when someone took a job, followed a predictable path of career development and worked in a world in which all employee performance communication flowed from the top down.
With today’s highly transitional workforce — as employees increasingly expect to be mobile across an organization and not just vertically within it — and as studies of workplace psychology continue to prove the positive impact of looking at performance from every angle, manager assessments have become a crucial best-practice ingredient for successful organizations. In fact, two of the five key trends cited by Bersin & Associates in its study, Modern-day Career Management, directly reflect the importance of manager assessments: Career management must be a collaborative effort among “employee, manager, HR and the company,” and training of line managers is critical to an organization’s success.
Cue the shaking of heads, the rolling of eyes and the murmurs of “not again” heard up and down the office corridors. The scene is familiar to anyone who’s participated in the annual performance review ritual. How could an event that’s so ingrained in organizational culture have become something of such overwhelming dread shared by so many involved in the process? Simple. By treating performance management as an annual event and emphasizing form over function and process over performance acceleration. Too often, the emphasis and energy involved are directed at compliance rather than at creating lasting value for the organization and its people.
These are complex times for HR departments in growing organizations. Unemployment rates continue to hover at the highest levels in decades; recruiters are challenged with finding specialized talent to fill open requisitions; and unemployed job seekers are relocating or considering lower-level roles to bring home a paycheck. Yet, employees who are safely situated in their jobs are more disengaged than ever before. How do you prevent your company’s front door from becoming a revolving door, with your best talent headed out and no one lined up to fill the void? By getting underneath what truly motivates your employees and designing a compensation strategy that appeals to your best performers.
Employee engagement is a somewhat overused term. But it is obviously very important for employees to be engaged and to care. A real challenge is getting employees to truly understand why changing their work related behavior is important to them and ultimately to the organization.
In a recent survey conducted by Reviewsnap, there was a clear indication that when the performance review process is carried out in an efficient and effective manner, employees respond in a highly favorable manner. Conversely, when the process is treated as an afterthought or necessary evil, employee morale can be negatively impacted. Other research and observation of the workplace also point to a significant difference in employee morale and performance when performance reviews, regardless of how often they are conducted, are done on time, in an accurate and relevant manner and when the communication surrounding the review is effective.
We routinely study managers and supervisors seeking answers as to why certain managers are successful and others seem to fail. It is somewhat difficult to find a truly good manager. But it really is not all that difficult to identify the attributes that separate good managers from average or bad ones.
There is an age old process conducted in most organizations, large and small, known as performance review or performance appraisal (the term performance review will be used primarily in this article). The importance of providing feedback to employees cannot be overstated. But doing so in the proper setting, context, and manner is critical to carrying out successful performance reviews.
Perhaps the most overlooked dimension of managing people is the understanding of what motivates people and what satisfies people about their work and their employer. The best managers, without question, are adept at reading people and knowing how to push the right buttons. People are complicated and everyone is different. That’s what makes managing people so challenging. If we could use one standard method of dealing with everyone, it would be much easier to be a manager/supervisor. Unfortunately, this is impossible.
With the aging population and an ever increasing pool of employees approaching or reaching retirement, it is becoming more critical than ever to develop younger talent that can replace these knowledgeable and experienced retirees. One of the deficiencies found in some organizations is the lack of focus on establishing a framework for managing the performance of employees. This can lead to a lack of viable successors as the more experienced employees retire.
The process of instilling a sense of urgency about performance is sometimes a difficult task. Many organizations struggle to get managers to buy into the need to focus on accountability for results. Look inside most organizations and you will likely find a charade of sorts taking place on a daily basis. Managers routinely talk about results and the need for accountability for those results. But look deeper and there will undoubtedly be a lack of a defined methodology for conveying what is important and creating alignment with organizational goals and objectives. And accountability will be nothing more than a buzzword.
"Having just completed our second annual review period using Reviewsnap, we experienced a seamless process with very few hiccups, and total participation. Staff has bought in. Life is good."
Director of Human Resources
Asian Art Museum