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Reviewsnap Notes: An Alternative to Required 1-on-1 Meetings

The more frequently employees receive feedback, the better. As an HR professional, you’ve surely heard that before. And maybe you’ve tried to implement weekly, biweekly, or monthly 1-on-1 meetings between managers and their direct reports. 

Taking measures to ensure frequent feedback happens makes a lot of sense in theory. Employees get clarity into how they’re performing and always know what tasks they should prioritize. They also have the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns so they can go about their work worry-free. 

Additionally, managers consistently gain insight into what their direct reports are focused on and if their productivity is being held back by any challenges. They can confirm each team member is heading in the right direction and resolve minor problems before they take a toll.

Perhaps the most overlooked benefit is regular 1-on-1s build toward better performance reviews. When an employee’s performance has been discussed and documented throughout the review period, the manager has multiple reference points to consider when it’s time to complete the formal evaluation. There is no recency bias or aimless scoring of review competencies. The manager has plenty of historical information they can pull from to provide an accurate and detailed assessment. 

So why do managers and direct reports avoid 1-on-1s?

Despite the advantages, you may have found managers and their direct reports are reluctant to participate in regular 1-on-1s. But if they’re beneficial to both parties, why the resistance? In some cases, a required weekly or even monthly catch up can be too frequent.

After reading all the articles and social media posts about the power of frequent feedback, that might sound a little crazy. But before you mandate regular 1-on-1s for every manager-direct report pair, consider the following points:

  • Feedback is occurring in real time. Employees and managers are sitting next to each other, working together, and talking all week. There is no need to require them to go into a meeting room to have a conversation that is already happening. 
  • Not much changes week-to-week for a lot of roles. Eventually, the feedback being delivered in 1-on-1s becomes redundant and sometimes forced. 
  • Regular 1-on-1s can lead to excessive expectations. Employees start to feel like they have to show new results every week or two which can cause anxiety and sloppy work.
  • If there is a weekly team or department meeting, another “what are you working on?” meeting just becomes a rehash of conversations that have already occurred.

These points can mean regular 1-on-1s are unnecessary—and everyone hates unnecessary meetings. Harvard Business School and Boston University surveyed 182 senior managers about “meeting madness” and found:

  • 71% believe some meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
  • 65% said meetings prevented them from completing their own work.
  • 64% responded that meetings come at the expense of deep thinking and planning.
  • And most surprising, 62% said meetings miss the opportunity to bring the team together—which is an objective of 1-on-1s.

If managers and direct reports aren’t participating in their required catch ups, it’s because the meetings are more burdensome than beneficial. Instead of being a platform for fresh advice and direction, managers may feel they’re giving forced and diluted feedback. 

Document performance with Reviewsnap Notes

Perhaps you’ve concluded frequent feedback is already happening across your workplace so there is no need to require regular 1-on-1s after all. However, as an HR leader, you want formal performance evaluations to account for all the employee’s successes and challenges. So how can you be certain performance milestones are documented if these meetings aren’t taking place?

The notes feature in Reviewsnap is an excellent way to build a detailed record of an employee’s performance throughout the review period. Let’s go through the benefits performance management notes offer that make it an ideal alternative to mandatory 1-on-1s. 

  • Attach notes to a specific competency or goal – Ensure performance notes are relevant to the criteria an employee is reviewed on and logically organized when it comes time to complete an evaluation.
  • Make notes visible to the employee – Deliver feedback or praise without interrupting the workday for a meeting. You also have the option to keep notes private.
  • Upload files to notes – Managers can attach supporting documents to notes that will provide context when they revisit it later in the review period. 
  • Encourage employees to take notes on themselves – Request employees document their performance as well, so they have talking points for their post-evaluation conversation with their manager. 
  • Consistently evaluate performance with notes – When notes are consistently added to an employee’s Reviewsnap profile, their performance is incrementally evaluated over the entire review period. 

Using Reviewsnap Notes, you can ensure there is an on-going record of an employee’s performance without requiring them to meet with their manager on a regular basis. 

If you want to learn more about the Reviewsnap performance management solution, request a live demo today!