Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?
Performance management – lots of organisations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.
But there is more to encouraging good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people question whether carrying out annual performance reviews actually impacts on the quality of performance.
Let us think a little about the person being assessed. What do they usually think about when a review is due. Here’s what it likely to be.
What your employee thinks about before their performance management review
- How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
- How am I being assessed and is it fair?
- Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
- How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
- How well am I doing compared to my peers?
But if you think about it. These questions don’t reflect why, as a manager, you carry out a performance review.
What you are concerned about is;
- How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
- What evidence is needed to support your view?
- If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
- What action should follow on from the review?
You are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. How do they become more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happy in the job?
Given the difference in perspectives, holding one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet your purpose or theirs. Surely what you need instead is a relationship and structures that support an ongoing dialogue?
No you don’t want spend every day discussing performance.
There is much to be said, though, for commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.
Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly, where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix, has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year, it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.
Developing an effective relationship, and having an open discussion about the quality of performance is works. It is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.
Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.
With a performance management system that works (and a well developed relationship), it becomes much easier to discuss career development. You can consider together opportunities for career progression. Threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues. Everyone benefits.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link