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The Annual Performance Review Is Extinct

By John Fanguy Performance Reviews

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One would think the annual performance review killed somebody from the way it’s being abandoned on the roadside by corporate America. From the time it takes to its usefulness as a performance management tool to the stress it can cause employees, the verdict is in. People HATE annual performance reviews. But the systems they use to manage them aren’t much better. Only 14% of organizations are happy with their performance management system.

So the traditional annual performance review isn’t cutting it for the appraised or the appraiser. But, is its total inverse- continuous, real-time, constant feedback–  the solution? Or is there a solution somewhere in the middle that might suit the changing feedback needs of the workforce. Is always-on feedback a privilege or a right? Let’s explore.

Are you part of the 14% of companies happy with their performance management? @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

Minutes Add Up

This one makes me laugh. The dissection of the yearly input of the annual review shows the ‘true cost.’ If a manager who is earning $50/hour spends 3hours on each of his/her 50 employees, the cost comes to $75,000/yr. Add in the cost and time for an employee making $30/hr, we’ve reached over $100,000 a year. Seem high? Well okay, we can use the same math and apply it to Saint Continuous Feedback. 42% of Millennials want feedback every week. This is over twice the percentage of every other generation.

Let’s say that same manager spends only 5 minutes a week giving performance feedback to each of his 50 employees. That’s 25 minutes a week, over an hour and a half per month, and almost 21 hours a year. That’s seven times the cost of annual reviews. There are plenty of benefits to real-time feedback. There is also a time-cost associated with regular feedback given to each employee. It’s reasonable to expect feedback on work done, but it is also important to remember chances are, a manager’s full job description isn’t to critique and praise, all day, every day, to everyone.

Saying Something…Just To Say Something

Some employers give verbal praise routinely because it’s a part of their management style, a facet of the company’s culture or a pressure from above. However, when an evaluation is yanked out for no better reason than time has passed, we seep into the negative effects of too much reviewing.

“Employees who know that they have been slacking off, but have received verbal praise nonetheless, may pick up on the fact that their employer is not really providing true praise for a job well-done.” -Stephen Meyer of the HR Cafe

An overload of feedback can leave the employee susceptible to take an egocentric outlook, an inflated view of their performance and develop an unrealistic and needy habit of attention. The tight-rope between the right amount of meaningful evaluation, both positive and negative, versus feedback just for feedback’s sake is at the feet of the manager.

Giving frequent feedback is helpful, but too frequent can cause this: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

Formal Reviews: Why We Need Them

Daily, weekly and monthly feedback can be supremely helpful for time-based projects, client-specific deliverables, and real-time account management. The annual review cannot be about day-to-day functionalities, and it isn’t supposed to be. There is a bigger picture to the annual review.

98% of employees find annual performance reviews unnecessary, but it’s not always about them, is it? The one-on-one sit down of corporate level succession planning, restructuring of roles and responsibilities and the salary/compensation conversation has a home in the annual formal performance review. How can you gauge an employee’s long-term goals and the needs of the company without some sort of formal meeting? I know meetings are ostensibly passe but there are times when they are incredibly useful.

Check these 9 performance review stats!

Mean, Mode And Range

53% of employees say performance reviews don’t motivate them to work harder. There has to be a happy medium between the stone cold silence year-round with one session of feedback and the hopes of a continual feedback mill. Use micro-feedback for the wins, the losses and when the manager has the bandwidth to do so. One area where many managers forget that feedback can be useful is on the way back UP the food chain. Instead of attempting to provide feedback every week, try every other week with your employees. A feedback loop is only a loop if everyone is participating. Not only will your employees feel heard and valued, but your performance (if reviews work the way we think they do) will also improve as a manager and leader.

53% of employees say performance reviews don't encourage hard work. Read more: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

iRevü has a quick and seamless solution for the proper mix of feedback. Roll up your iRevüs into weekly, monthly and quarterly groups to save time between one-on-one sessions. Combine a feedback loop, more frequent (shorter) reviews, written and verbal feedback with more formal feedback sessions or performance reviews. With this combination of performance conversations, employees, managers and executives can build a performance organization that works!

john fanguy

Posted By John Fanguy

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