Time to ditch the annual performance review?

Performance reviews, whether you are the one conducting them or the one being reviewed we’ve all had  at least one in our working life. Depending on the company your performance review could be every 6 months or yearly, the outcome of your review could be linked to your pay or how much bonus you’ll receive.

The aim of a review is to

–           Assess your job performance

–           Look at your strengths and areas of improvement

–           Set future objectives

–           Discuss career progression

–           Air any issues, concerns

The question is, are performance reviews still considered useful or are they a soul destroying experience for both the manager and the employee?

Reviews are a good way to set aside time for employees and managers to talk to each other.  A meeting once or twice a year is not always enough time to talk about everything that has happened in the time that has lapsed between reviews; views and opinions change.

It can be a stressful and time consuming period, having to plan and prepare for, remembering what was discussed in the last review.

–          How many times have you come out of your review and felt it wasn’t as useful as you had hoped it would be?

–          That you and are your manager are disconnected to the point they don’t know what it is you do or what it is you want out of your job?

–          It feels like it is more about the company and what it can get out of you?

These kind of feelings can leave you feeling unappreciated and lead to good workers leaving all because of a lack of communication and poor relationship building.

Perhaps it’s time to give the old performance review a makeover. Instead of leaving it 6-12 months to discuss the progress of an employee, it’s time to encourage feedback in real time. Why wait until review time to discuss any problems or an employee’s career within the company?

Would this approach to performance reviews work for every company? Depending on the structure of the company, the relationship between managers and their employees and the amount of available time managers / employees have, most likely not. Communication does not have involve lengthy meetings, regular conversations telling an employee they are doing a good job, there is an opportunity for progression is also a good way to boost an employee’s confidence and encourage them to stay. Alternatively it is also better to let an employee or manager know there is problem sooner rather later.

Who knows what managers will find out about their employees and vice versa by breaking down a performance review into bite sized chunks?

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