Performance reviews give companies an opportunity to praise good work, identify problem areas and offer avenues for growth and improvement. They also let businesses ensure that the actions of employees are in line with company goals.
Unfortunately, performance reviews can also have some downsides. Reviews can leave employees feeling confused, can be a dreaded task for management, and can take up a lot of valuable work time.
In an effort to make performance reviews better serve the interests of all parties, many businesses are making their reviews simpler and more targeted. By simplifying reviews, businesses are able to take advantage of all the benefits reviews offer, while avoiding many of the negative aspects that plague the review process.
Simple Reviews – Improving the Efficiency of the Review Process
In the Harvard Business Review, Deloitte Services discussed its revamping of the performance review process. Deloitte found that over half of its executives did not think that the way the company reviewed performance was working. The company also added up the hours used in the employee review process and discovered that between conducting reviews, discussing the results of reviews and ranking employees, it was spending almost 2 million hours annually.
Deloitte made the decision to try out a new, simplified system. Instead of doing things the old way, it decided to create a review form consisting of just four questions, two of which could be answered with a yes or a no, and two of which were answered using a standard scale of five points. The questions themselves were simple, asking managers things like, “Would you want this person on your team?”, and “Is this person ready for a promotion today?”
The results of the changes Deloitte made were promising. By changing the way it conducted reviews, by simplifying them, the company was able to improve outcomes and to begin down the path of completely revamping its review process.
Surprisingly, all it took to start improving was a simple form with four or five well-crafted questions on it. This simplification was enough to bring employees and management together, praise progress, encourage growth and more.
The Benefits of Simple Reviews
They are easy for employees to understand.
A simple review gets to the heart of the matter without a lot of unnecessary or confusing information. When the questions generate clear answers about the employee’s performance and provide direction for how the employee can improve, the information is easily digestible. In a period of a few minutes, the employee gets the feedback he or she needs, management has an opportunity to lead effectively and the company benefits in the process.
They can be conducted more frequently.
Increasing the frequency of employee reviews allows management to give feedback that relates to the here and now – not something that happened six months or even a year ago. In the case of Deloitte, reviews were conducted after every project, or every quarter. By having regular reviews that give the kind of feedback employees need, management can provide direction to correct course repeatedly – without making the review feel like everything is riding on it. Employees know the review is simple, comes regularly and is actually helpful.
Simple reviews put less pressure on management.
Management dreads performance evaluations just as much as employees do. The more complex the review, the more tedious it is for management to keep up with. With simple reviews the review process is less demanding and easier for management. Structuring the questions in a manner that encourages answers that are short and to the point makes conducting the reviews faster and less stressful. As long as the questions are few enough, and they give management an opportunity to say what needs saying, they can take care of reviews in a timely manner.
Creating a Simple Review
Every company is unique, which means that ideally any performance review would be customized to your company. While your company may have similar goals to a company in the same industry, you still have your own unique work culture and most likely have company goals that are quite specific. However, there is also no need to reinvent the wheel. If you have quality employee performance software, you should have access to a number of different templates for creating your own reviews.
There are a few things to consider when creating a simple review:
1. Know the goals of your company.
While it is normal for large corporations to have a company vision and goals, many smaller businesses have never sat down and put their vision/goals to paper. You will find that your reviews will be much more focused, and easier to customize, if you know what you are trying to accomplish. If your company does not have clear goals, consider mapping your goals out before creating a review.
2. Remember you can customize reviews by department, employee type, etc.
It is not always necessary to do so, but keep in mind that you can create different review questions based on who is answering them. You can also update your review questions if you feel it necessary. It is OK to adjust your review process if you think there is a better way to do it.
3. Use the tools that you have available.
Your employee performance software is a powerful and versatile tool in your efforts to improve performance. You can look through question templates to find the best fit, edit and save different templates for different purposes, and keep track of everything along the way.
4. Remember employee development.
Reviews offer more than just a way to say an employee is doing well or poorly, they also offer a way to develop skills and talent. After the questions are answered, there should be a place for managers to set simple goals for employee improvement.
Helping to Improve Performance for Your Company
If you would like to know more about what performance management software can do to help simplify the review process, please contact us. Reviewsnap is here to answer your questions, and help you find the right software solution for your needs.