Jilaine speaks to why the annual performance review is dead, and how the more-frequent alternative can improve both business relationships and outcomes.
Jilaine Parkes: There’s a shift towards more frequent appraisals because people can’t ignore the low value proposition of an annual performance review anymore. On the one hand, there’s the recency effect – an “annual” review really only reflects the last few weeks of the employee’s work. And on the other, there’s virtually no opportunity for an employee to course-correct their mistakes when they hear about them months after they’ve occured.
JP: More performance reviews are just one piece of a larger initiative to have a better managed relationship with employees. When you’re in constant touch with your employees through ongoing feedback, they better understand the metrics of what a “good job” is. When their review does comes around, there should be no surprises. This means that at the review stage, they’re not learning about their performance but instead having a proactive discussion on where they can improve.
JP: By their very nature, more regular reviews are contextual to what’s going on in that quarter. Also, they’re not as heavy, formal, or long as the traditional annual review.
JP: Quarterly. It’s not difficult to do, and these “formal” check-ins are facilitated by even more frequent weekly ones. Believe it or not, we use SpriggHR here at Sprigg, and I set up weekly 30-minute one-on-ones with my team to make sure they have what they need. These check-ins allow for a more in-depth conversation when appraisals come around every three months, but also inspire your people and help them grow.
JP: There’s a perception of how much time a performance review takes, and much of that perception is tied to the old way of running reviews: on paper. Online performance management systems like SpriggHR simplify the process and keep ongoing feedback at the manager’s fingertips.
JP: There are certain features within online management systems that allow for more frequent performance reviews. SpriggHR, for example, has a mobile app: a simple extension of the platform that means not taking a manager away from the way they normally do things – they can still enter meeting notes from their favourite coffee shop or back patio where they prefer to conduct reviews. Other useful functions include the calendaring system to book meetings and work sample storage for helpful reference.
As performance management moves from annual to quarterly and, eventually, a daily occurence, make sure you futureproof your managers for the new workforce’s needs by instilling a spirit of timely appraisals in your business.