Perf Review 1Several high-profile companies like General Electric (GE), are getting rid of annual performance reviews.  This development has sparked a debate among HR professionals and business owners about the usefulness of performance appraisals, and the alternatives for deciding who gets pay raises, bonuses and promotions.

Many managers dread the performance review, and will tell you they are dissatisfied with how their companies conduct annual performance reviews.  Many HR professionals say the process doesn’t yield accurate information. The reviews are time consuming, and often the results don’t accurately reflect the employee’s contributions throughout the year.

There are other methods of reviewing your employees’ performance that yield more accurate results.  Many managers agree that more frequent informal “check-ins” allow you to keep a better pulse on your employees’ performance, and are more meaningful conversations.  Instead of basing performance in one sitting, reviewing an entire year, with rankings and ratings, these “check ins” allow for a collaborative discussion on strengths and development areas.

5 Tips to “Rethink” the Evaluation

  1. Performance is more complex than check boxes and numeric scales. A good system needs to highlight significant incidents, provide clear examples of positive and negative behaviors, and include specifics. Just because we assign a number doesn’t make it objective.  Turning performance into a number blinds us to how people are actually performing.
  2. Provide feedback on things the employee can change. Avoid talking about personality traits or characteristics they can't change.
  3. When giving negative feedback, focus on specific incidents and examples. Talk about your impressions and feelings, and never make judgments about what's going on in the employee's head.
  4. Focus on strengths more than weaknesses. Focusing on weakness sends the wrong message. Focusing on strength gets people excited and motivated to grow. A focus on weakness really says that your strengths don't matter.
  5. Don’t forget about intangible behaviors. Reviews need to be more holistic and find ways to take into account nonobvious team-building behaviors. The person who helps keep everyone else's mood up when things are tough is appreciated, but not really noticed, until they’re gone.

Need guidance on performance reviews? Call your HR Advisor today! (844) 4HR-PROS