The modern employee wants an environment where he can optimally develop his talents, where he has a say and where he can exert influence. The result: greater enthusiasm, better involvement of employees and a better functioning organization. A wonderful job for HR. But how do you achieve this?
Greater enthusiasm and more committed employees.
Greater enthusiasm and satisfaction and even more committed employees. How do you achieve this? Not by conducting an annual appraisal interview, recording the agreements and then moving back to the order of the day. Only to check after a year whether the agreements have been met. The 2.0 employee requires more influence, more independence and self-management. He wants to be challenged to use his talents. The current function and assessment cycle is no longer in line with this way of working.
The performance review system is flawed
Kilian Wawoe, organizational psychologist and public speaker discussed the assessment cycle. According to Kilian, to assess = to condemn. The current system and the current way of assessments are wrong. That is because assessment comes from a time of simple work: Easy to make measurable and therefore easy to assess. In the current time with complex jobs, it does not always mean that getting 10 customers is better than 5 customers. It is therefore much more difficult to make measurable and more factors depend on performance.
A large percentage thinks his work performance is above average
There is also often a curve within organizations. You are either below average, average or above average. Research shows a large percentage (80-90%) thinks they work average or above average. At the end of the year there is an assessment round, where the manager will look at the results and inform their employees whether or not they actually have performed above average or not.
Assessment process is time-consuming and not motivating
Research has been done into how much time managers spend on the assessment process. This appears on average 200 hours per year per manager. The costs for a company with 10,000 employees can amount to roughly $ 35 million a year. If you translate this to an organization like Deloitte, where 65,000 FTEs work, it means that the management spends 2 million hours a year on the interview cycle.
The purpose of the system
The assessment cycle has become a tool rather than a goal. The cycle came from Taylor, and is primarily based on simple work that was not fun. In the present time, a very different purpose applies. The purpose of the new system must be:
- Motivation & Performance
- Attracting & retaining talent
- Satisfaction & Happiness
- Fair Distribution
How does the conversation cycle work?
Then there is the question of how the interview cycle can lead to higher job satisfaction. The answer is autonomy and feedback! Research has shown that satisfaction increases if the feedback comes from multiple sources. The feedback must also be given on the basis of reality, either from real examples or behavior. Do you work in a complex environment? Then goals must be set for a short period. What you do in January is already outdated in February. Rewards must be disconnected from all this. Measuring in complex situations has no effect, coaching does. Set flexible targets and ensure an ongoing dialogue between employee and manager. Rewarding must be done pro-social. Let colleagues determine the reward.
Research into a better assessment cycle
Research is currently underway into a better cycle. This research describes a cycle based on 3 points:
Analytics – You get Analytics with feedback. Feedback must be obtained from as many sources as possible. Feedback from the customer, from colleagues, supervisors and peers.
Coaching – internal or external coaching, aimed at helping people develop and improve. Coaching discussions do not have to be with the management or managers.
Assessment – The assessment only has to consist of two options: whether you meet or you fail.
This performance cycle can be compared to obtaining your driver’s license. The assessment: whether or not you get it. Through coaching you learn to drive better and develop yourself. You use all kinds of data for this: how fast you drive, how efficient, how often and how accurate. Naturally, a new cycle also takes time. But this is considerably less than 200 hours per manager per year. Efficiency can be achieved with the new cycle. It will yield more than costs.
Our critical note
Kilian claims that self-reflection is less important because many employees consider themselves average or above average, where we experience that employees are indeed very critical of their own performance on what can be improved and where they can still develop. However, in our opinion, the research question must be different. From “Do you find yourself below or above average?” To “Where can you grow?”