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By: Kayla Bell on December 23rd, 2013

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The Problem with Performance Reviews

Total Rewards | Best Practices | Employee Relations

‘Tis the Season for... annual performance reviews! problems-with-performance-review

As an HR Consulting firm, Helios is a big supporter of managing employee performance.  Performance Management includes annual performance review meetings that we hope managers at every organization are having with their staff. Many employees see an end of the year review as an administrative task to check off a box before they can get that long awaited merit increase at the end of the year – and that, in a nutshell, is the problem with performance reviews.

What’s the point?

Performance review meetings serve as a formal channel of communication between an employee and his/her manager.  They allow both parties to discuss progress against previous goals, identify performance concerns, establish goals for the next year, and work together in an effort to develop and grow the employee at the organization.  It seems pretty straight forward, right?

Where it goes wrong:

Managers and employees are often so busy with their day-to-day job and finishing out projects at the end of the year, that performance review meetings may get pushed further down the priority list each day.    Some employees may rush through their self-appraisal while others may spend hours noting every detail only to have their managers quickly check off the boxes that are required, sign the form and send it back to the HR Department. If performance is managed throughout the year, and managers and employees are meeting on a regular, on-going basis, the ideal performance review meeting is held face-to-face, lasts around 30 minutes, and fulfills the purpose as detailed above.  If employees and managers get caught up in the day-to-day of their job they may find that the annual performance review quickly becomes a five minute phone conversation to cover the main points of the form, meet the bare minimum requirements directed by HR, and both parties move on with the day.

How do we fix it?

Slow down, and remember that your employees are your biggest asset!  These performance reviews are intended to make sure that employee performance aligns with the expectations of the organization.  Use this time to recognize the effort that your employees are giving to the organization.  Identify areas of improvement and ways that the employee can grow in his/her current role and perhaps into another role, if desired.   Establish goals for yourself and your employees to ensure continued success of your department.  Taking the time at the end of the year to discuss past performance along with goals and expectations moving forward will help maintain an engaged and successful work force in the coming year.