When was the last performance review you received? Did you feel the feedback you got was helpful? Were you able to use the information to improve your performance? A recent survey titled the Workforce Mood Tracker found that more than half of the US workforce feels performance reviews do not accurately assess their performance. Twenty-two percent of the population say they’ve never received a review, while another 24% dread their review. These statistics are alarming and send a clear message that there is a serious HR issue that needs to be addressed.
Employee performance reviews are designed to be the formal time when managers evaluate their employees and give them information and feedback about how they’re doing their job. This information is vital to career development and highlights strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement and training opportunities. As you think about the performance review process at your company and how to begin to fix the problem uncovered by the Workforce Mood Tracker survey, consider the following as first steps in the process.
Frequency – how often are you conducting formal reviews? Most companies do them annually, but that may not necessarily be the right timing for your employees or business. Think about the nature of the business and the typical business cycle. If you expect managers to write reviews during the busiest time of your year, they are going to rush through it and the information will not be as useful. Conversely, if you wait too long, the message will not have the same impact.
Appraisal Form – Most companies use a performance review form of some sort to review their employees. Has that form been revised lately? A difficult to use form can be the death before you even get started. There are many software and online options that make writing and tracking reviews much easier.
Measures – Does your current program evaluate the right skills and knowledge you expect of your employees. If you’re evaluating them on old skills it’s not going to give a good picture of where they are today. Taking a good look at the skills, experience and competencies they’ll need to succeed will allow you to give them a better review of their performance.
The message from the Mood Tracker survey is that we can’t continue with business as usual with respect to performance appraisals. This is a call to action to make changes so that employees are receiving the feedback they deserve and need to perform their job.