Organizing the Review Employees Actually Want


“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
-Ronald Reagan

We’ve been discussing how leadership plays a critical role on employee performance and productivity lately and the truth is we just can’t say enough about the necessity of a strong performance management system. The annual employee reviews have been catching a lot of flack recently and all the critiques of the process really comes down to the leaders who maintain and manage performance, frequent, annual or otherwise. It’s time to step away from the finger pointing and start taking a long look at what it is employees truly need and deserve in a performance management system.

1. Time, Time and More of Your Time

Here’s a riddle for you: What possession of yours does everyone want, no one can really have and we’re all constantly losing? Precious, precious time. It is the one commodity each of us demands from one another. Employees not only want your time, they actually need it to do their best work. Research shows that employees who spend 6 hours of their work week with managers are 29% more inspired and 15% more intrinsically motivated. Of course, managers are doing far more than managing people, so time is a luxury most simply cannot share and employees don’t just want a present manager, they want collaboration.

Tweet This: Employees who spend 6 hours of their work week with managers are 29% more inspired.

Living the Dream: It may be impossible to stuff more hours in a day, but you can start sharing the responsibility (and without hiring anyone else). Consider a mentorship program in which even the most tenured of employees work with others. Managers have the leadership expertise, but colleagues can learn a great deal just by seeing how others within their department handle everyday challenges.

2. Actual Structure

Reviews, whether they are frequent or annual, take a great deal of time. As the above point suggests, time is just not something all managers have the ability to share. The hustle and bustle of business and possibly a forgetful mind might lead to a complete overlook of what month it is and how long it’s been since you met with your team members. Depending on the structure of your company, the lack of a review might mean it’s been that long since you’ve not only sat down with those team members, but actually had any type of interaction. If there is no structure to the timing or dialogue of performance reviews, then employees will never know when to expect them, what feedback to bring or how to best feel prepared.
Living the Dream: Decide on an increment of time or specific months employees should expect to schedule a performance review, whether they be every December or every 3 months. Place those dates within your performance management system or set reminders in company calendars so all employees can access. Then create a baseline Q&A script to be used for every review. This script should include questions pertaining to previous goals or aspirations, how those were met or are being worked toward and a particular place where the employee is proud. That way, no review is a one way conversation led by the manager.

Tweet This: How do you organize your performance reviews? Have you tried this:

3. Goal Alignment and Expectations

This may come as a surprise, but your people want to be accountable. When a manager takes the time to identify employee strengths then goes a step farther to assign an individualized responsibility based off those strengths, they feel recognized for their contributions. Everyone wants to hear where they excel. One study found 71% of employees who believe their manager helps them build on their strengths are more engaged.

Tweet This: 71% of employees who believe their manager helps them build on strengths are more engaged:

Living the Dream: This probably sounds like more work, but a little time investment now could lead to a more engaged, productive and skilled workforce later. Not to mention, you probably already know where some of your team’s talent lie. Bring those observations up in a performance review or even in a short meeting with the employee. Discuss why you feel this way, ask if they agree and plan a few ways to put those skills to good use. Employees are 17 times more engaged when managers help them set performance goals.

When it comes to organizing or reorganizing your performance management, it’s very important to consider what it is that employees need to feel supported. Especially if your current model isn’t actually benefitting the team, but costs managers time. If your current performance review system leaves managers and employees collectively scratching their heads, let Reviewsnap turn your confusion to a rewarding and smooth process. Take an online tour or schedule your personalized demo today!