06 Nov The Importance of Objective Performance Review
If your company is still relying on traditional, line manager-led performance reviews (usually devoid of calibration and objectivity) then read on.
For most employees, the annual or 6-monthly review is accepted as the norm. They fully expect to sit down in an awkwardly quiet little room with their line manager (who they may or may not ‘gel’ with) and re-hash last year’s Performance Review Form.
While this same format may be used in all departments across the board, with the same form and the same over-arching company objectives being spouted to all managers, reviews like this are rarely anything other than a subjective and sometimes demoralising process for employees which can lead to real life monetary penalties.
So why not be different?
Same Employees + Different Managers = Different Outcomes
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Managers will likely get on brilliantly with most of their reports but will simply sustain a working relationship with others- not everyone that’s thrown together in the work environment will be best buddies or lifelong friends. And, as we’re all subject to human nature, this may very well be playing a part in the outcomes of supposedly objective performance reviews- whether intentionally or not.
Personal preferences aside, managers will also be bringing their own business objectives and perceptions to the table (again, unconsciously or otherwise). Hitting targets might be one manager’s main objective, while another will focus on bringing in new business and another will be focussed on work ethics- making the whole process extremely suggestive and subjective.
Not too much fun for the majority of employees who, having worked hard all year, may find themselves missing the mark in their current manager’s eyes and feeling the price- literally.
So, What’s The Alternative?
There are several different ways to modernise your performance review procedure while also ensuring that the conclusions reached are far more accurate and objective.
We’ve outlined some changes you could implement in a day as well as some of the ways we may be able to help through our services and training programs below:
There is no quicker way to improve communication and speed up performance improvement than encouraging a culture of giving Instant Feedback.
Holding on to issues you spot in the workplace until the next bi-annual or even annual review is pointless. The detail will be lost, a tiny issue will have turned into a serious gripe, and whoever the feedback is intended for will likely have no idea what you’re referring to or how to improve in the area.
Instead, by instantly feeding back any concerns to the employee, it affords them the opportunity to resolve the issue there and then- allowing them to move forward immediately. This makes for a much less antagonistic approach to giving feedback and can improve communication in all directions.
One to Ones
The power of informal monthly or fortnightly one to ones is not to be underestimated. The value gained by taking just ten minutes out of the working day to check in with an employee on a regular basis is immeasurable.
Employees feel more valued, the informality of the meetings leads to far more open discussion and the regularity means that any growing issues can be nipped in the bud. One to ones also encourage a positive relationship between managers and their reports as it gives them a chance to connect as people rather than in a potentially stressful ‘review’ environment.
These either formal or informal meetings should be held on a regular basis with a focus on discussing any issues and celebrating any successes. They are a great opportunity to check in the employee’s progress towards any goals or objectives set out in their formal review, helping them keep to the right path.
Without continuous feedback, targets can easily fall by the wayside during the course of 6 months or a year and the detail can become blurry. In fact, so much can change in a year that sometimes, objectives set in January can be null and void by September- these meetings give managers and their reports the time to adjust course.
We can help with this via our Calibration service; where we facilitate round table discussions about the performance of employees and enable managers to come to agreed conclusions re their performance rating and any monetary awards based on that rating.
Put simply, calibration meetings allow discussion about the individual performance of team members with the goal of making sure that all managers apply similar standards, across all employees. The process also helps to ensure that, no matter whom they report to, all employees are evaluated against the same criteria and that there is an agreed performance rating system in place.
With aligned calibration, potentially difficult conversations become more objective; leading to more positive and impactful conclusions.
Another area in which MadeYou can help is 360 Feedback.
We’re so proud of our 360 Feedback Program and the effects it has had on the businesses we work with.
In a nutshell, rather than having one person determine how well someone has performed, 360 Feedback relies on the perspective of everyone the employee works and interacts with; from their manager to their peers to people they have dealt with in other departments. It also includes the employee’s own view of their performance, creating a two-way conversation rather than the traditional review scenario.
The program provides a more objective and complete view of an employee’s overall performance, which, once understood, can lead to far more effective training, coaching
You can read more about our 360 Feedback Program here.
What else can we do to help?
We also offer some amazing training courses that would be incredibly beneficial in this area. They include:
This 4-hour course enables managers to give feedback at the right time and in the right way.
Using role-plays and interactive sessions we explore tips and effective processes in relation to giving feedback including:
- Advice on what documentation should be involved
- How to utilise real-time feedback
- How to get the most out of one to ones
- How to handle potentially emotional feedback sessions
A great course for managers who are new to the job or to the business as well as those who need a reminder to think of feedback as a gift!
This course provides a clear process for delegates to follow when it comes to having difficult conversations with their direct reports. We aim to give them the confidence and the skills they need to have potentially emotional or awkward conversations that focus on performance improvement.
The course also covers:
- How to approach giving feedback to recruitment or training departments if the wrong candidate got the job so that processes can be improved moving forward
- Understanding where each team member’s performance lies in relation to each other
- Identifying the different types of under-performer
- Utilising tone of voice for a positive impact
- The value of action plans/PIPs/PDPs
- Developing the relationship between manager and HR for support during the HR process
- Taking responsibility for recording clear, concise and objective notes during the management process
In 4 hours, your managers can improve on a wealth of skills that will help employees, peers and upper management across the business.
It can be easy to forget that managing steady eddies (performers) and over-performers comes with its own challenges- not least the risk of leaving potential un-tapped.
This course aims to provide key methods for managing the Steady Eddies and over-performers in your organisation including how to explore their potential for a positive impact on the business as a whole.
Here’s what we cover:
- How to identify the over-performers and manage them effectively
- Confidence in involving over-performers in key initiatives to get great results
- How to value your performers and invest in your over-performers to maximise their potential and subsequent business outcomes
- What tools to use to motivate your individuals- linking the right tools to the right progression and development
- Tailoring feedback for it to be effective for the individual’s progress
- Ensuring you’re one step ahead- to know what’s next for your over-performers
- Proactively investing in your talent