Are Performance Reviews Really Necessary?

are performance reviews really necessary?Performance reviews are often viewed as a necessary evil in companies. They eat up a lot of time and effort, plus measuring the benefits isn’t easy. For many businesses, the current performance review process is actually doing more harm than good. That doesn’t mean you should ditch performance reviews. Instead, consider these ways to revamp your current performance review protocol so that both managers and employees can benefit in the form of productivity, engagement, and workplace satisfaction.

Understand Company Motives

What are you hoping to get out of a performance review? Many companies implement performance reviews without truly understanding why they are doing them and worse, they allow managers to make their own decisions about why they’re necessary. Are they used to justify raises? Provide a safe place for employees to report issues? Improve productivity? Measure company goals? Before doing a single performance review, you need to understand and communicate your reason for requiring them. Once managers are empowered by a clear goal, they can focus on the parts of the performance review that will benefit the company’s mission.

Ditch the Annual Review

The ineffectiveness of the performance review usually has nothing to do with content but with timing. An annual review often addresses problems too late or creates an adversarial relationship between managers and employees. Simply increasing the amount of positive interactions between employees and managers can have a major effect on communication and worker output. Instead of having an annual review, encourage managers to conduct monthly or even weekly individual reviews with employees. A quick stop by the employee’s desk or a five minute chat on the way to a meeting can help employees understand how they can improve their performance and allow employees to address issues with managers.

Personalize Your Review Process

While it’s important to measure some parameters across the entire workplace, many performance reviews require answering a laundry list of questions that may or may not have anything to do with your workforce. Instead of truly reviewing the employee in the context of their job duties, managers are forced to box their employees into a pre-filled checklist. Employees’ reviews are then diluted with non-vital information and both managers and employees leave performance reviews more confused about what direction they are moving in. While a company-wide performance review is great for data, it’s terrible for individuals. Branch out from the standard evaluations and encourage managers to develop job-specific evaluations that truly get to the crux of employee performance.

Streamline with Automation

Managers and employees are busy and performance reviews get in the way of normal duties. Rather than relying on managers and employees to independently remember to check in or complete performance review forms, automate those interactions. Offer online forms for managers and employees to fill out and review, then provide reminders to managers to check in with employees. By taking away the annual performance review that needed hours of preparation, employees and managers can have simple five-minute weekly check-ins, urged by your workforce management system. By making the process easy to record and easy to recall, employers can ensure that managers and employees understand the process and know when it’s time to sit down together.

Performance reviews can be a powerful tool. Getting your company on track to gain information and foster a positive relationship between managers and employees is essential to properly implementing a performance review protocol. Assess your own process today and see how it stacks up to these suggestions, then if you decide to continue conducting a performance review, use them to gain more from your reviews.