How To Boost Productivity Without Performance Reviews

How to increase productivity without performance evaluation

Only 4% of HR leaders say that performance reviews accurately measure employee performance.

These days, workers and employers can disagree on many things – working from home,”give up quietly“even what to wear to the office – but there’s one thing everyone can get away with: Performance reviews stink.

First developed by the U.S. military during World War I, formal due diligence systems were adopted in the following decades by influential companies, including General Electric Co., to eliminate Eliminate underperforming people. They became popular and hated by everyone. A time-consuming, out-of-date box-checking process, they often reveal more about the raters than the reviewers.

Looking for a better way to manage employees, several large companies, including Adobe Inc. and Accenture, have abolished formal annual reviews in recent years. Follow WorldatWorka non-profit organization that provides education for HR professionals.


How companies measure performance

Companies that do so will earn kudos at first, but the good feelings can fade. Workers who hear less from their bosses end up feeling dubious about the rationale for getting paid and promoted. Some companies that skipped reviews even brought them back, consultant Gartner Inc. found – indeed 90% of organizations still conduct formal audits annually. This highlights the importance of replacing them with other strategies to better support employees, HR experts say. Here are six:

Regular and timely discussions. Conversations between managers and employees should take place immediately after the project is completed, or at least every quarter. Marcus Buckingham, head of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute, says the ideal check-in frequency is once every 11 days. “Performance happens in the moment,” he said. According to WorldatWork, nearly 60% of organizations do regular check-ins, up from 42% in 2016.

Focus on how, not what. According to Gartner, only 4% of HR leaders say that performance reviews accurately measure employee performance. Discussions should focus more on how people work – their skills, behaviors and competencies – than on what they already do, which will inevitably turn into a memorization demonstration. tasks and goals.

Coach managers to have meaningful conversations. A landmark study in 2000 found that nearly two-thirds of the differences in employee ratings were due to the individual characteristics of each rater, not to the actual performance of the employee. Surveys show that arbitrariness often hurts people of color the most. Software platforms such as BambooHR and Workday, which help companies track employee progress and performance, have emerged as popular tools for prompting managers to have ongoing discussions with employees and provide support. help them do so. These should be done regularly and include coaching, commenting on recent work, and setting expectations for the coming weeks.

Consult colleagues. Inviting an individual’s co-worker to participate in a performance review can be especially helpful in today’s hybrid offices, where managers rarely see employee work patterns. And there’s room for improvement in this area: Only a quarter of organizations that include workers’ teammates participate in the assessment, according to a 2021 Gartner survey of HR leaders. There are pitfalls to avoid, says Buckingham: Some workers may seek to sabotage their colleagues, turning the workplace into a surveillance state. Amy Sung, HR consultant at Willis Towers Watson, a performance management expert, says this approach is not recommended unless a company has a fairly open and honest culture.

Let employees reflect. Some organizations have replaced stifling boardroom conversations with quarterly employee reflections on their performance, which managers can then comment on. That can help reduce the amount of time spent writing traditional reviews, which can actually add up. Deloitte, the professional services giant, once found that ratings consume almost 2 million hours of employee time each year.

Look forward, not back. Even the feedback concept is getting an overhaul: Sung says some of her clients like to provide a “forward feed,” directly linking the performance discussion to personal growth. pellets. That way, the reviews become more effective at identifying and nurturing your best performers, rather than just determining who gets what percentage of the annual rewards.

The challenge with these approaches, however, is that they require a source of trust between bosses and workers, which has dried up during the pandemic amid fierce debates over the vaccine mandate. , back-to-office policy and productivity monitoring. Nearly two-thirds of adults say they worry that business leaders are deliberately misleading people, up 7 percentage points from last year, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey by the company public relations company. Employee engagement, according to pollster Gallup, fell for the first time in a decade last year, and it continues to decline this year, leading to people quitting or just working. trends at work.

Buckingham said: “Trust is essential. Annual performance review” means you wait a whole year to be told you’re ranked second [out of five]. That reduces trust. If companies want to improve performance, they should ask, what can we do to get people to trust us? “

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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