How To Make The Most Of Performance Reviews

August 15, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Not a fan of performance reviews

A large number of organizations work within a performance review cycle that consists of one or (maybe) two reviews per year. This is not an ideal situation for any company. In this week’s leadership quick tip, we cover how to make the most of performance reviews including ways to subsidize a review cycle that you may be currently working under.

Why traditional performance reviews are bad

By providing feedback to your team only once or twice a year, you introduce unnecessary stress and anxiety to the working environment. While the team is anticipating the review or the results of a review, the become distracted and are less motivated. Rather than focus on their work, they are concerned about the outcome. Will they do well? Will they get a raise? Not knowing what’s going to happen next creates an element of surprise that is difficult for anyone to handle.

In addition to the above, annual review cycles don’t sit well with millennials. Millennials prefer being coached and being on the receiving end of ongoing feedback. Now that this new working generation makes up a majority of the workforce, these types of performance reviews will become obsolete.

How to subsidize performance reviews

As a leader, you should constantly be building relationships with your team. The relationship should be comfortable enough where you should be able to not only deliver positive news or feedback, but you should also have an open enough dialogue to pass along criticism as well. If this type of communication is normal, it makes having both good and not so great conversations that much easier.

Schedule ongoing 1 to 1 meetings with each of your team members. Make these weekly events and flag them as a priority. The meetings don’t need to be long, but they should provide enough time to touch base. Help the team member overcome any challenges during these sessions and provide feedback. Having these conversations on a regular basis eliminates the element of surprise (and stress).

If a member of your team is meeting their goals and creating opportunity for themselves, don’t wait until the end of the year to reward them. Provide them with raises, bonuses, or promotions as appropriate. If a promotion is in order, make sure they’re getting the raise that comes along with new responsibilities. By doing this, you will reduce animosity and the result will be a happy team member.

Organizations are slowly shifting away from the archaic approach to approaching performance reviews. As your company makes the shift, fill the void with meaningful communication, feedback, and rewards. Use business coaching services as a tool to leverage change. This is a small modification that can impact big change.