Performance review conversations are a key element of performance management, but they aren’t isolated events that only happen at year-end. They encompass things like setting goals and objectives, which often occurs at the beginning of the year, and involve ongoing check-ins. To make performance reviews more effective, incorporate team-based feedback, make them a shared responsibility and keep them forward-looking.
Incorporate team-based feedback into performance conversations
To incorporate team feedback into performance reviews:
- Discuss how the employee contributed to the team’s performance and objectives and how the employee’s actions or behaviors may need to change to improve overall team performance.
- Utilize examples from others to fill any gaps in your assessment.
- Understand any discrepancies between the employee’s self-evaluation, team feedback and your evaluation.
Create a two-way dialogue and shared responsibility
The more information that is available to employees when discussing performance, the better. Communicating to employees how they were rated improves performance management utility by nearly 3%, while explaining how ratings are used and how decisions are made based on ratings increases utility by 5.4%. Gartner research also found that when a manager explains specific actions an employee can take to improve performance, increases utility by nearly 2%.
“Making performance reviews forward-looking can increase employee performance by 13%”
Managers are responsible for things like gathering peer and client feedback on the employee’s performance, reviewing the employee’s self-assessment and 360 feedback prior to the conversation, focusing and aligning with the employee on next steps, and connections to other talent management processes. Employees must own proactively seeking feedback and coaching from peers and clients, articulating personal goals and priorities, and understanding how their role aligns to the business unit and organizational goals. HR needs to ensure that these types of conversations between managers and employees are making performance, and performance reviews, a shared responsibility. This enables employees to be active participants in performance conversations.
To shift to forward-looking performance discussions, managers should focus on the future capabilities and the career interests and growth the employee.
Get to know your employees in a much better way! – That is by asking them several questions related to work and life:
- Ask about skills he or she wants to learn in the future.
- Talk about the skills the employee must learn and the development areas the employee needs to work on to continue providing value in their role.
- Discuss how the employee’s strengths can contribute to the organization’s vision and future goals.
- Ask about their future career interests and aspirations.
- Discuss whether the employee’s future career aspirations align with the organization’s vision and purpose, and if they do not, discuss how the two can align.
- Discuss the possible career paths available to the employee, as well as what the career progression would look like for at least two positions above the employee’s current position.
- Ask the employee about the types of networks (role-related, technology-related, process-related, etc.) they are interested in connecting to develop the future career aspirations.
- Discuss the types of networks in which the employee needs to engage to be successful in future roles and how the organization can help.
- Discuss the peers and senior leaders who could have a positive impact as mentors or coaches on the employee’s future performance.
What’s more important is to gather information about the ways employees feel comfortable working in the company. The managers should focus on small things that the workforce needs and connects to easily. This way they can ensure improvement in their performance.
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