Adopting Alternatives to the Annual Performance Reviews

The major drawback of performance reviews, and the reason more and more businesses are doing away with them, is that they can be boring. Their end-of-the-year focus and emphasis on monetary incentives and penalties hold employees accountable for previous behaviour at the expense of improving current performance. Having regular discussions about employees’ current performance and scope for development, on the other hand, shifts the emphasis to creating the workforce your company needs to be successful both now and in the future.

Employees may get actively demotivated by the conventional annual review due to its emphasis on the past rather than the future. It’s crucial to keep employees accountable for their actions and the results they produce, whether positive or negative. But it can be challenging for employees to recall every detail from the previous twelve months.

To overcome challenges, earn appreciation, and establish trust with superiors, employees value fast, regular feedback. Employees, teams, and businesses all benefit from a less rigid and more uniform approach to performance management.

Here are several alternatives to the traditional annual review:

  • Conducting one-on-one meetings

Relationships between you and your employees benefit greatly from regular one-on-one meetings. These meetings are great for recognizing efforts put in by employees, discussing potential obstacles, and mentoring them on how to improve their performance. You can benefit more from assessing employees’ performance as it happens, at regular one-on-one meetings, rather than waiting months afterwards. By doing so, you can alter inefficient procedures before they become routine. Having such meetings regularly also shows the employees that you value their performance and progress. Because of this, both – participation and productivity among employees are increased. 

  • Conducting quarterly performance reviews

In addition to one-on-one meetings, quarterly reviews can be quite beneficial. These meetings, which analyse quarterly performance and plan for the following three months, might be professional or casual. The credibility of the relationship with your employee can be enhanced by quarterly reviews as such meetings help in increasing communication between you and your employee and providing timely feedback. On top of that, because you will be talking about shorter time periods as compared to an annual performance review, you will have less to prepare for as a manager.

  • Providing and taking regular and mutual feedback

Organizational development requires constant two-way communication. This facilitates two-way communication between staff and management regarding requests for feedback. This not only makes employees feel like their opinions are valued, but it also provides you with the data they need to enhance the work environment and improve as leaders. If such feedback and review process is mutual, employees are more inclined to openly incorporate criticism.

  • Incorporating project-based reviews

Providing employees with project-based review enables a more timely and applicable evaluation of their work and development prospects. Annual performance reviews cover an employee’s work over the course of an entire year, while project-based review centres on the employee’s most recent completed project. This method ensures that any issues or successes may be discussed while they are still fresh in the minds of the employees. You are better positioned to provide better feedback and mentoring to the employees with such discussions. Employees will benefit more from your project-based review and feedback as they move on to their next project.

  • Taking out the time to discuss your employees’ career goals and development

The future goals of both you and the employee can be better aligned through career development discussions. You can use these discussions to highlight their employees’ strengths, plan for the future, and provide employees with direction for their professional growth. This facilitates the development of essential skills needed for the job and conveys an employee’s significance to the company, allowing them to perform to their fullest capacity.

It is crucial to have regular discussions and feedbacks as opposed to annual performance reviews because they allow both parties – the employer and the employee to take stock of the situation and understand what is going well and what could use some modification. Effective performance reviews can be a powerful tool for advancing an employee’s career in a company. You can reach out to our experienced employment law attorneys at the Walsh Law Firm LLC if you have any questions or advice relating to adopting an alternative approach to annual performance reviews.