Are Annual Performance Reviews Meaningful Today?
Posted on January 14, 2013 by David Nye, One of Thousands of Executive Coaches on Noomii.
How to create a performance review and plan that really matters.
If you have ever completed an annual performance review as a manager or individual contributor, you understand the importance of honest, constructive feedback. These days, corporations set up performance reviews only once a year. Many managers are told to follow strict policies on how and what can be discussed during a performance review meeting. And in many cases, pay increases and bonuses are already pre-determined by upper management, so the manager has very little discretionary room to reward, or reprimand his/her employee in relation to pay.
*In a recent survey of 750 HR professionals conducted by New York-based consulting firm Sibson Consulting Inc., and World at Work association, about 58% of human resource executives graded their own performance-management systems a C or below. The study also indicated that managers should be trained to deliver better feedback, and employees should be given a clearer picture of what constitutes good and bad performance.
“Managers should be trained to regularly work with employees to identify ways the manager can help them improve, in a way that doesn’t make the employee afraid to acknowledge weaknesses,” says David Insler, a senior vice president at Sibson Consulting.
Although you may not have much input into the monetary rewards related to a performance review, , there is little to no reason why you can’t sit down with each of your employees and develop measurable, achievable performance goals. And unless your company has restrictions on discretionary rewards, you may discuss those as well.
This should be a co-active effort between you and your employee. Let your employee develop his/her areas for improvement, then help them map out a plan to achieve success. Once you and your employee have established goals, then meet on a monthly or quarterly basis to discuss the status. As for rewarding meeting/exceeding performance goals, there are many non-monetary options. Some of the rewards I have used are: recognition dinners, golf, a night out for two, and extra vacation days. You need to show them that you are supportive of their efforts, and are there for them if they get stuck. That’s your job as a people manager!
As an individual contributor, you are on the receiving end of a performance review. You should fully understand the guidelines, and the rating system (if any) for your results. You should be able to ask questions, and be able to agree or disagree with those results. Good questions to ask are; “What do I need to do in order to receive a higher rating on my next review?” or “What do I need to accomplish in order to achieve my next promotion?’ If you develop your goals with your supervisor, and you meet on a regular basis to discuss your progress, then the year-end performance review should not hold any surprises. This is why it is so important to develop and review your goals on a regular basis.
As a manager and a coach, I’ve used these methods for years with very positive results. Just remember, the bottom line is making sure the tools are in place to set you up for success. My goal here is to provide you a couple of ideas to help you get started and make your Annual Performance Review a meaningful process!
If you’d like more ideas, or an in-depth consultation on this or other coachable issues, please don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime.
*Source: The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2010