Are traditional performance reviews fading in popularity? The answer depends on who you ask. Old fashioned performance review models are pleasing to some HR pros and number crunchers, because they strive to place objective, measurable values on abstractions like performance and growth. Standard reviews also work well for some managers, since they provide a reliable yearly opportunity to coach and criticize struggling workers (or praise those who are doing well).
But some employees don’t love this practice, and as their voices are heard (and as these employees become managers or step into HR roles), the pressure for change is growing and performance reviews are evolving in a new direction.
What do employees want from their yearly evaluations? And how are these desires shaping and changing this practice?
Employees in the modern workplace don’t shy away from feedback—in fact, they embrace it. Younger workers and ambitious millennials want to know what their bosses think of them. If they need improvement in certain areas, they’d like to hear about it. If they’re excelling in others, they want to know that too. They also want to know if they’re being judged and evaluated fairly; and if they aren’t, they want to take their skills and talents to a new employer sooner rather than later. In fact, many modern workers are looking increase their reviews to two, three, or even more per year.
While employees seem to want more reviews each year, they would rather keep this feedback informal. Instead of one overinflated, highly ritualized session each January, employees would rather simply be told about their mistakes and home runs in real time. This gives them more opportunity to make changes and improvements without drama.
The opportunity to challenge
Unfair reviews can seriously undermine worker satisfaction and employer-employee relationships. They can also lead to high turnover, resentment, and regret on both sides of the table. Smart companies ensure that the review session is a two way process, and they give employees a chance to contest the results and set things right.
The opportunity for leverage
Employees are looking for ways to make the most of their formal reviews and use the practice to improve their skills and elevate their salaries. If an employee can’t use the results of a review to negotiate an increase or promotion, how much value can the session really have? Modern, advanced review practices have built in parameters that link positive performance metrics to measurable opportunities for compensation and advancement.
For more on how modern workplaces are changing their annual review policies, contact the Little Rock staffing and management team at CSS.