The annual performance review is a staple of the business world. While employees and supervisors may dread this yearly mound of paperwork in their increasingly paperless workplaces, for companies as a whole, the process is attractive from a legal standpoint. After all, it provides a method for justifying pay raises and promotions, for documenting poor performance that could lead to an employee getting fired, and for assessing the efficacy of the management team.
However, there is some question as to if evaluating your employees only once a year is a practice that can generate the best possible results. For example, if an employee is doing something wrong, wouldn’t it be better to address it immediately than to wait until an annual review to do so? On the other hand, if an employee is going a great job, why not encourage them with immediate feedback rather than wait for a formal time to recognize it? Additionally, the structure of the workforce is changing in such a way that individuals often report to multiple supervisors, making a one-on-one review obsolete.
Gradually, businesses are establishing a new framework for performance evaluations which addresses the desire employees have for regular evaluation and feedback. Today’s performance reviews can include any or all of the following:
- Completely separating discussions regarding current job performance from those about raises and promotion potential within the company, which can reduce anxiety on the part of the employees.
- The ability for employees to spend time self-assessing their own strengths and weaknesses and talk these over with their supervisors, which allows employees to help guide their course in the company.
- Frequent face to face meetings which allow employees and supervisors to constantly assess their goals and revise them as necessary.
- The use of Human Resources software which allows employees to give each other constructive feedback.