It's no secret that the annual performance review is a dreaded event for both employees and managers. But why does this process cause so much angst? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, "90% of employees are dissatisfied with their company's annual performance review process." Not only is it stressful for both parties involved but it's also horribly ineffective. In the same study, "9 in 10 HR leaders don't believe the process provides accurate information." So, why do we keep doing them?
One of the main reasons is that we've been doing them for so long. The performance review as we know it has been around for over 100 years and its origins can be traced back to Elton Mayo. Mayo was an Australian psychologist who conducted a series of experiments at the Hawthorne Works factory in Illinois in the 1920s. His experiments, known as the Hawthorne Studies, looked at the effects of different work environments on employee productivity.
What Mayo found was that it wasn't necessarily the physical environment that affected productivity, but the social environment. His experiments showed, unsurprisingly, that employees were more productive when they felt like they were part of a team and had support from their managers. In other words, employees are more motivated when they feel valued and appreciated.
So, what does this have to do with the performance review?
The performance review is a relic of the industrial age when workers were seen as cogs in a machine. This way of simply putting a numerical rating on the employees is no longer relevant or effective. In today's knowledge economy, where creativity and innovation are key drivers of success, the traditional performance review is nothing more than a hindrance.
In addition to performance reviews, now we know about Continuous feedback.
Continuous feedback is a process where employees and managers provide ongoing, timely, and specific feedback to each other. This type of feedback is informal and happens on a regular basis, rather than once a year.
It's based on the premise that employees are more engaged and productive when they feel like they are part of a team and have the support of their managers. In other words, it's the complete opposite of the performance review.
So, how does it work?
The key is to make feedback a two-way street. Employee input should be encouraged and welcomed at all times. Managers should also be open to receiving feedback from their employees. This way, everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
One company that has ditched the performance review in favor of continuous feedback is Google. The tech giant has been using this method for years and it's one of the reasons they're so successful. In a recent article, Forbes contributor Jacquelyn Smith wrote, "Google's secret to success: Ditch the performance review."
Smith goes on to say that "Google's philosophy is that if you're not catching someone doing something right, you're not managing them effectively." This is a sentiment that many managers can relate to. After all, it's much easier to catch someone doing something wrong than it is to catch them doing something right.
Continuous feedback is not only more effective than the performance review, but it's also less time-consuming and less stressful. It's a win-win for both employees and managers. So, what are you waiting for? Ditch the performance review and say hello to continuous feedback. Your employees will thank you for it.
If you're a manager, imagine never having to sit through another performance review again. Or, if you're an employee, imagine never having to stress about getting a good review. Sounds too good
One of the most notable examples is Deloitte, one of the world's largest professional services firms. In 2013, they did away with their annual performance review process and replaced it with a continuous feedback cycle.
Under the new system, employees receive feedback on a regular basis from their managers, rather than once a year. This allows for more timely and accurate feedback, which is especially important in today's fast-paced business world.
What's more, the new system also gives employees the opportunity to provide feedback to their managers. This two-way dialogue helps to create a more open and collaborative relationship between manager and employee.
The new continuous feedback system at Deloitte has been met with positive results. In a survey of employees, 92% said they were more likely to trust their leaders and feel confident in their decisions. This increased trust and confidence is a testament to the effectiveness of the new system.
One of the pioneers is General Electric, which did away with performance reviews back in 2016.
In an interview with Harvard Business Review, GE's Chief Learning Officer Jennifer Stanley explained why the company made this decision:
Instead of annual performance reviews, GE has implemented a continuous feedback system. This means that employees receive regular feedback from their managers throughout the year. This way, employees are able to address problems and receive praise in a timely manner, rather than waiting for an annual review.
- Introduce the concept of continuous feedback
- Explain why traditional performance reviews are ineffective
- Describe the benefits of continuous feedback
- Offer tips for implementing continuous feedback in your organization
- Discuss the challenges of continuous feedback and how to overcome them
The traditional performance review is ineffective because it is a one-time event that takes place once a year. This means that employees have to wait an entire year to find out how they did and what they need to work on. By the time they receive feedback, it's often too late to make any meaningful changes.
In addition, the performance review is often based on subjective criteria, which can lead to biased results. This can be a problem if the reviewer has personal biases or if the company culture values certain traits over others. For example, a company that values extroversion may give higher ratings to employees who are outgoing and social, even if they are not necessarily the most qualified for the job.
Continuous feedback, on the other hand, is a more effective way of managing employee performance. This system provides employees with regular feedback so they can address problems and receive praise in a timely manner. In addition, continuous feedback is less likely to be biased because it is based on objective criteria such as results and output.
There's a reason why the idea of continuous feedback is such an effective way to motivate and inspire employees: it's the most effective way for people to improve their performance.
It's not that managers shouldn't give feedback—it's just that when you do it in a continuous way, rather than stopping to give feedback every once in a while, you're able to maximize your time with your employees.
When you're on top of things and giving feedback regularly, you can help your employees work toward better performance on a regular basis. You'll be able to see how they're doing and catch any problems before they get too big or too serious. You'll also be able to identify the areas where they need improvement and give them the support they need to get there.
We strongly believe that continuous feedback is a key component to the success of your employees, and we're not just saying that because we're trying to make you feel good about yourself. We really mean it!
A recent study found that employees who received regular feedback were twice as likely to be engaged with their work than those who did not receive feedback. This means they were more productive, too—that's right, they got more done! And they also reported feeling happier with their jobs. What more could you ask for?
The last, when you're working with a team of people, it's easy to get caught up in your own work and forget about the rest of the team. But if you don't make time for one-on-one meetings with each individual on your team, you might find that they start to feel like they're not being heard—and that can lead to disengagement from their work or even from the company as a whole.
Make sure that you're keeping up with regular feedback sessions with each employee. This will help them feel like they have more control over their work, which will improve their performance and help them feel engaged in what they're doing.