Change Your Thinking Re: Performance Management

Employers have a large foothold in the employee development process. Performance reviews are a must for the health of your workforce, but what you do with the results of the performance appraisal makes a bigger impact on employee development. To see positive outcomes from employee performance appraisals, employers have to adjust the way they view the process in the first place. Organizations have to create relationships between the performance reviews and employee development.

Our whitepaper, “Bridge the Gap Between Your Performance Reviews and Employee Development – or Both Are Primed To Fail,” discusses the importance of building that bridge:

“The question becomes even more perplexing when you consider how important performance reviews are to effective employee development. Done correctly, performance reviews inspire greater and greater levels of success. They motivate our people to contribute toward critical business goals to develop their skill sets, and to reach their full potential.”

Let’s delve into this further…
Change Your Performance Appraisal Process
Performance reviews are just a fraction of your performance management system’s capabilities. Many employees expect a performance appraisal, but it doesn’t excite them for the growth that will happen as a result: but for the standard 3% base salary raise [1].
Rather than allowing performance reviews to generate a formulaic stigma, change the way your team thinks about performance appraisals. An astonishing 58% of companies say their current performance management isn’t an effective use of time. That needs to change.
Organizations need to update the way they perpetuate sentiments regarding performance appraisals. Simply stated, employees want to grow. Nearly three-quarters of employees would rather receive corrective feedback [2] than positive affirmation. The problem is that managers are reluctant to give the feedback employees need in order to develop professionally. How can you change this? By making the performance appraisal mean something again. Use the information you have to your employees’ best advantage. Lead them! 
Change Your Performance Management
Employers understand the need to change their performance management systems. Currently, 70% of organizations [3] are evaluating or have recently reviewed and updated their systems. That’s a good start, but the evolution has to be more than systematic. More than 90% of managers aren’t satisfied with their current review systems [4]. Leadership has the ability to turn the thought process around, however.  Supervisors need to be trained on how to give feedback, both negative and positive. Managers want education in how to give feedback; in fact 46% of them want guidance in these sometimes stressful conversations.
A key driver to employee growth after the results of a performance appraisal is how the manager delivers the feedback. Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, CEO and President of Zenger/Folkman respectively, said: 

“…We find it telling that the people who find it difficult and stressful to deliver negative feedback also were significantly less willing to receive it themselves. On the other hand, those who rated their managers as highly effective at providing them with honest, straightforward feedback tended to score significantly higher on their preference for receiving corrective feedback.” 

See Results in Your Team
Both manager and employee need to have a hand in career development. Although employee development is largely in their own hands, they can only do so if they have the right tools… feedback is one of these tools. Effective performance management starts with thorough performance appraisals and delivers the direction and support employees need to grow. To see performance results in your employees, BLR recommends managers be trained to [5]:
      Develop a close working relationship with employees
      Create continuous opportunities for constructive feedback
      Be proactive about addressing marginal performance
      Ensure employees understand company performance standards
While 90% don’t feel performance appraisals actually boost performance [6], they can if they are conducted differently. Start by training managers to give meaningful and regular feedback. Companies that take performance reviews as more than a formality and conduct them more frequently see a 15% lower turnover rate.
Performance appraisals are key to healing your workforce. In order to see a change in the way your employees work, you have to change the stigma attached to performance management in your organization. A large percentage of companies are currently dissatisfied with their performance management systems; to restructure this takes some managerial training and employee performance appraisals that include constructive (not just positive) points. 
Employee feedback should be more than a corporate formality, it should be a route to develop workers. Take a demo of Reviewsnap to see how you can restructure your performance management with the right solution.
[5] – Training Issues Among Reasons for Shortfalls in Performance Management

Download: From Dread To Moving Ahead

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