Ironically, performance reviews often fail to produce better employee results. As an essential element of the overall performance management process, the performance review should be handled with great care.
Here are five big mistakes you’ll want to avoid when it comes to creating your organization’s performance review process:
- Lack of strategic focus. Companies often try to create a process around software or based on the latest management trend instead of looking at their needs and developing a process with stakeholders. Involve your major stakeholders early on in the planning phase since they are the future users of the system. Without proper consultation, your performance management process may not address all the needs of the business. Focus your performance management on a few critical goals that are key to your business growth. Then, use your performance reviews to help your employees understand how their everyday work and individual goals will help achieve these objectives.
- The absence of timely, ongoing feedback. Don’t wait until the formal performance review to provide feedback to employees. They may feel blindsided, and this can lead to disappointment, confusion, frustration, and disengagement. Disengaged employees are less productive and less motivated to improve their performance. Forward-thinking firms are reaping the benefits of frequent, ongoing employee feedback that consists of setting goals and discussing progress at regular intervals. Effective managers discuss both positive performance and areas for improvement regularly, so the contents of the performance review discussion acts as a re-emphasis of critical points.
- Generic forms. Many companies find a form with some generic 1-5 scoring system to judge each employee’s annual performance. Does it really reflect the true picture of employee performance? No one likes to feel like a number. Throw out the generic box-checking system and replace it with a performance review process that’s based on frequent, tailored feedback. And be sure to let your employees know in advance what it is you’re evaluating them on.
- Insufficient training. Without proper training and development, your managers may not fully understand what performance management is and how the performance review fits into the equation. Early on, explain the benefits of performance management and provide ongoing training to help managers obtain the appropriate knowledge, behaviors, and skills to properly engage their teams in performance management activities, including the review process.
- Including the rewards conversation in the development conversation. If employees are thinking about their pay throughout the entire performance review discussion, they probably aren’t going to be listening to the feedback they’re given. Consider creating parallel processes where rewards and compensation discussions are clearly delineated from ongoing development and coaching conversations. It may be more challenging in practice, but separating compensation from coaching and feedback is a fundamental way to ensure your firm’s employee development efforts get the attention they deserve.
When used correctly, performance reviews create a strong line of communication between manager and employee, contributing to enhanced engagement, improved workplace morale and business growth. If you’re in search of performance management solutions that work, please contact the experienced professionals at The HR Team.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.