98% of employees find annual performance reviews unnecessary. This is according to a poll conducted by Achievers, the rewards and recognition company.
Does this make any sense to you? That number shouldn’t be that high.
I have a theory on why the number is so high, and I hate to shift the blame to managers, but I think that too many managers don’t take performance reviews seriously.
According to research from Hay Group, one third of managers look at performance reviews as a “box ticking exercise”.
In a lot of corporate environments, the HR department will force managers to conduct these reviews, and the managers don’t take them seriously, because it’s forced on them.
This is a terrible attitude to have, since it’s well known how important feedback and coaching is to employees.
If managers were smart, they would use this as an opportunity to make their employees better.
Let me share some personal experience, from the point of view of an employee.
At our company, we do quarterly performance reviews, and one annual performance review.
My next performance review is coming up very soon, and I knew about it about a month in advance. I don’t know the exact date of the review, but I know that it’s coming up pretty soon.
First of all, this has caused me to step my game up in the last month. I want to make sure that I’ll be able to receive some praise for something, since I’m pretty sure I’ll get some feedback on what I could improve.
Second of all, this has caused me to focus more on my mistakes, and work to ideally avoid making them, or fix them quickly.
Overall, it’s gotten me to work harder.
For any manager out there reading this, understand this:
Let’s look at how we can make performance reviews better.
Tips To Make Performance Reviews Better
1. Prepare For The Meeting
Please don’t show up to the meeting unprepared.
Again, you have to see this as an incredible opportunity to give employees feedback that they’ll be more receptive to.
The psychology behind the way this meeting is organized and seen, is much more conducive to feedback.
A lot of times, when you give employees negative feedback, they’ll become defensive and won’t really listen, whereas they’ll probably be more open at this type of meeting.
2. Make It Informal
Don’t make it so scary for employees.
Keep it loose and informal, and remind them that this is a discussion on what’s going well, what’s not, etc..
Make sure that you’re not the only one talking, and encourage the employee to assess their own performance and give their own feedback.
It’s a good time for the employee to do an introspection and reflect on their own work.
3. Don’t Discuss Salaries
If you want to make sure that the employee doesn’t become defensive, don’t discuss salaries.
Make sure that it’s clear to the employee that this discussion is purely around what’s going well, and what could be improved.
4. Give Some Praise
Make sure that you use this one-on-one setting as a way to really highlight at least one amazing thing they’ve done since the last time you met.
Trust me, speaking from personal experience, employees are expecting some praise in these sessions as well as feedback.