It’s Time to Refresh the Traditional Annual Performance Review

The traditional performance review can be a struggle for all parties involved. For some professionals, even just hearing the words “annual review” sends shivers down spines and hearts into stomachs.

Adobe surveyed 1,500 office employees in the U.S. and found that conducting reviews is incredibly time-consuming for managers. Employees feel these traitional performance reviews are outdated, stressful and irrelevant. Both are on the same page about the need for change: 55 percent of office workers and 66 percent of managers would like their companies to eliminate or update their performance review policy.

What does this mean for you? It’s out with the traditional annual review and in with the instantly gratifying, informal, frequent feedback. Follow these tips for a more effective performance review plan:

Your Performance Review Guide

Ditch the Formalities

It’s time to trade in the forced, unproductive structure of the annual performance review for a more honest, casual conversation. You can even get rid of the intimidating “performance review” terminology altogether. Plus, with more frequent feedback, you won’t need to spend hours compiling months of quantitative data on each individual, and instead measure results from shorter periods of time. And remember: While the numbers are telling, there’s also value in qualitative evaluations for a more comprehensive discussion about employee performance.

Find Your Feedback Flow

While traditional reviews may be dying, the need for feedback itself isn’t going anywhere. The difference is that employees are not interested in hearing it a year from now. One TriNet survey revealed that 85 percent of working millennials would prefer more frequent feedback from managers. This feedback can be as simple as a brief desk-side comment about client relations or a passing reminder about the qualities of good work ethic.

Create a more informal structure for giving feedback with weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ins. While there’s value in setting yearly objectives, there’s also still room for setting goals within these shorter parameters. With more immediate feedback, employees will have a clear understanding of how they can improve their performance now rather than in the new year. Plus, you can follow up on their progress in making positive changes.

Have a Conversation

As you fall into a routine of providing more casual, immediate feedback, you’ll foster a stronger relationship with your employees. Rather than spewing data points at them, treat these discussions like comfortable conversations. Start by asking them about a particular project or situation to get their take on their own performance. You can even ask them how they feel about your leadership or if they have any suggestions for how managers could be a better resource for them and their peers. When employees feel valued, they will be more invested in playing a vital role in personal as well as company-wide success.

Finding High-Performing Digital Talent with Profiles

If you’re looking to hire top digital talent employees that make feedback a breeze, contact Profiles today. They know how to match you with the top marketing and creative technology talent that can deliver strong results for your company.

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