It’s easy to see that the annual performance review process is frustrating and simply doesn’t deliver actual value for many organizations and their employees. And yet, we’re investing significant amounts of time and budget to evaluate performance leaving many organizations ready to abandon the review process altogether. But research has proven that performance feedback drives engagement and lowers turnover. So, before ditching performance reviews, try shifting your performance management strategy.

modern performance management

Here are five simple questions to ask yourself as you re-design a performance review process that effectively drives employee engagement and develops top talent:

  • Are you measuring what really matters? What are the real indicators of effective performance for each employee, and how are they measured? What happens when your employees have unclear or misaligned expectations? Only 6 in 10 employees know what is expected of them at work. Before trying to measure performance, ensure employees know what is expected of them at work. You may need to spend some time with your managers to ensure they are able to effectively set expectations with their employees.

  • Are you establishing performance goals that cascade from organizational goals? Employees who strongly agree they can link their goals to the organization’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged. Effective performance management starts with cascading goals so that all employees understand how they can make an impact to the overall success of the organization.

  • Are your managers providing ongoing feedback? Ineffective and infrequent feedback can create employee turnover. And yet few employees have had a conversation with their manager in the last six months about the steps they can take to reach their goals. With at-a-glance visibility into goals, managers are better able to initiate communications, engage employees, and provide ongoing feedback.

  • Are you tracking progress throughout the year? If we want frontline managers to engage and coach employees, then the annual review can’t be the best – and only – time to discuss an employee’s performance for the year. Managers need tools not only to help them establish employee goals, but to also track ongoing progress against those goals and identify areas for improvement in real time, rather than waiting until the end of the year. By tracking progress throughout the year, managers and employees communicate regularly so that there are no surprises come annual review time.

  • Is your review process objective? At a minimum, provide an opportunity to incorporate objective peer feedback for a well-rounded view of the employee’s performance and competencies. Better yet, incorporate a data-driven approach to reviews that can help you reduce manager bias or reliance on anecdotes and gut instincts. HCM analytics tools can help you quickly and easily access calculated and weighted employee performance data .

Maybe it’s time to ditch your backward-looking performance assessments that do little to drive engagement and productivity. Instead, revive your performance management process with a flexible, data-driven approach that enables your managers to continuously assess and coach employees to nurture and develop top talent.

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018