It’s no longer a secret that both managers and employees dread annual performance reviews finding them ineffective and more and more frequently counterproductive. Among other things traditional performance evaluations can be time-consuming, unfair, often insulting, and without clear purpose and outcomes.
It seems like these exist only to demotivate employees making them stressed and less and less engaged in their work. This is especially true for employees whose managers use these unobjective and often vague employee reviews to decide on compensation or promotion.
Reinventing the Performance Management Process
If you’ve also noticed the negative effects that traditional annual feedback sessions have on your employees, you’ll need to reinvent the entire performance evaluation process by adjusting it to jobs that have evolved in the past 15 years. These jobs require expert-level employees capable of handling different tasks and projects, finding on-the-spot fixes for various issues using advanced tools and solutions.
So you need to find an adequate replacement for a traditional performance management process that’ll keep up with these changes and meet employees’ increased demand for more frequent, unbiased, and detailed data-based feedback.
You can follow the lead of the business world giants like Microsoft and embrace practices that will offer your employees continuous actionable, well-informed feedback and coaching opportunities. Another example of effective performance practice that can replace an outdated annual rating system comes from Netflix which has abandoned setting annual goals and basing employee performance on them because they realized how these goals may change and fluctuate throughout the year.
Here are some other actionable steps you can take to adjust your performance management for the future of work.
Changes that Can Lead to Optimized Performance Management
Some companies decided to try out different ways to modernize and optimize performance management. Many of these practices may seem experimental, but if you look close enough you can discern a certain pattern that proves effectiveness.
- If you want to identify crucial performance determiners, try to focus on employees who are a step away from the average, on either side of the spectrum. Concentrating on overachievers and underperformers may offer you more valuable insights than focusing on a majority of average employees.
- You can start using advanced solutions like employee tracking software that will help you gather real-time, detailed information about your employee performance. This data can be a much-needed addition to updated, objective employee reviews.
- More and more companies are quitting the practice of using employee performance evaluation reports as a base for determining compensation. This will take the stress out of the equation for most employees.
- The traditional performance evaluation process is looking backward at someone’s performance, focusing on past achievements. This is useless practice because you and your employees can’t fix setbacks and issues that appeared 6 or 8 months ago. But if you shift to giving frequent feedback using real-time accurate data collected via employee tracking system data you’ll be able to identify and fix potential issues on the spot, helping your employees improve their performance.
Involve Insightful Data in the Performance Management
If you want to reinvent your performance management process you need to abandon the outdated ways of gathering employee performance data and embrace advanced technology.
You can follow the example of General Electric (GE) which introduced an app that helps their HR professionals and managers keep track of the company’s performance goals even though they fluctuate throughout the year.
This tool makes it easier for GE employees to request feedback and provides qualitative and quantitative evaluations of their work. They can use this information to readjust and improve their performance throughout the year. Also, software for employee monitoring can provide valuable information about the time spent on different tasks, projects, and web and app usage, and can show you how your employees’ productivity fluctuates in real-time.
By gathering insightful information and combining it, you can create meaningful, actionable employee reviews that have a clear purpose and outcomes.
Technology may be a reliable ally in optimizing performance management but performance evaluation meetings are still at the core of this process.
If you want to make a positive impact on your employee engagement and morale, try to focus on professional development and rewarding top achievers rather than on criticism. Also, encourage your employees to speak openly about the issues they may have and the practices that may or may not work for them.
By embracing this approach to performance management, you’ll build trustworthy relationships crucial for every business’s success, showing appreciation for top performers and giving support to those who need it.