Performance Reviews time? Or not?

This blog post analyzes a hot HR topic within organizations: assessment, development and feedback.

What goes wrong with performance reviews?

What goes wrong and why does no one look forward to performance reviews anymore? According to surveys, employees derive little value from these conversations since they see them as subjective. One manager can bring out all the positive qualities and as a result, the outcome is no longer clear, while then a different manager can focus mainly on the negatives. It also happens quite often that managers postpone conversations and, even if they do not, these conversations are not very innovative. On top of that, everyone wonders what this process will yield since it is a very time consuming process that only happens once per year. So, the main goal then shifts to handling the conversations as quickly as possible.

Read more: Online feedback during COVID-19 times

Furthermore, while traditional performance reviews are questionable, employees do attach great importance to feedback. And especially when feedback is continuous. This way, not only they can act immediately to anything that comes up, but they also feel safer and have peace of mind, given that the procedure of yearly appraisals is very stressful.

Self-management also has a positive effect on relieving managers from burdens and preventing endless discussions. Employees themselves work on their sustainable employability. What are the challenges in your work? What are you doing? What gives you energy and what do you find very difficult? Ask yourself these questions regularly and then develop continuously. Conversations become better, are more about development, and employees are more aware of what they contribute.

Read more: The 6 largest HR trends for 2020

The importance of good feedback

While there is this turning away from annual reviews to the use of continuous development through feedback, another primary matter is to help both employees and management to provide valuable feedback.

The essence of good feedback is about behaviour and the intention to help someone improve. Feedback must always be focused on development, be concrete, focused on opportunities, and holding up a mirror to employees with recognizable facts or blind spots. Feedback is not about burning someone down but giving them energy and motivation.

Nevertheless, not every organization has a feedback culture. Quite often, you can recognize a pattern of fear and negativity or family relationships where everyone is too nice to each other.

Read more: Why is performance management crucial for every organization?

How do you stimulate a feedback culture within the organization?

  • Make the urgency clear within the organization.
  • Agile thinking: Make rules together and work from small steps.
  • Facilitate instead of direct; help employees.
  • Enter into an open conversation with each other, stimulate feedback in multiple forms.
  • Train employees on how to give and receive feedback.
  • Provide employees with tools to easily retrieve feedback by introducing technology.
  • Implement feedback moments into the daily work schedule.
  • Repetition makes the process easier.
  • Create a safe environment for giving feedback.
  • Making mistakes helps! Make mistakes and try again until you make it.
  • Give time to embed a feedback culture.
  • Practical experience of an organization: We have implemented continuous feedback within the organization. After a feedback culture is implemented within the organization, it creates a new reality that can then no longer do without it.

Download the free ebook: How to give feedback to 16 different personality types

Conditions to achieve a good conversation cycle:

  • Conditions to achieve a good conversation cycle
  • Look at the organization, team performance and the individual.
  • Make employees responsible for their development.
  • Encourage employees to become more entrepreneurial within the organization through their direction and intrinsic motivation.
  • Encourage regular feedback. The conversation is a short evaluation and focuses on the future.
  • Let employees determine their objectives within set frameworks from the organization. In this way, goals can be divided according to talents.
  • Do not allow feedback only between managers and the employee, make feedback interactive and involve multiple stakeholders to arrive at a broader picture.
  • Don’t get lost in competences. It’s about what you do and how you achieve it. What you contribute and what you would like to see (more). (continue, stop and start)
  • Move away from a fixed cycle. It is not about when the conversations take place, but that they take place. Moreover, by taking various moments during the year for insightful moments of feedback with the employee, the workload and the stress is relieved.
  • Empower motivation! Ultimately, the organization runs on motivated employees. Focusing on motivation and energy provides opportunities for every organization. 

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