Gartner research shows that a whopping 92% of organizations have formal performance reviews and 65% of organizations provide formal performance feedback, and yet performance management remains a largely unsatisfactory experience — for both employees and managers.
Only 17% of respondents to a recent Gartner survey said employees were evaluated by their teams.
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.
Here are three things you can do to make the process more productive.
Incorporate team-based feedback into performance conversations
Gartner's research shows that there is a 3.5% increase in the utility of performance management and a 14% increase in employee performance when employees are evaluated by peers with interconnected work and shared goals. Despite the reality, only 17% of respondents to a recent Gartner survey said employees were evaluated by their teams, while 99% said that direct managers evaluate employee performance.
Collecting and including team feedback in performance conversations enables managers to share a holistic picture of employee performance. To incorporate it into performance reviews, you can :
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's research also found that when a manager explains specific actions an employee can take to improve performance, utility increases by nearly 2%.
HR needs to ensure that these types of conversations between managers and employees are happening by making performance, and performance reviews, a shared responsibility. This enables employees to be active participants in performance conversations.
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 the next steps, and connections to other talent management processes. Employees must be responsible for proactively seeking feedback and coaching from peers and clients, articulating personal goals and priorities, and understanding how their roles align with their business units and organizational goals.
Make reviews forward-looking
While it’s natural to associate performance reviews with a look back at how you did the previous year, Gartner's research reveals that focusing on the future makes performance management more useful. In fact, when reviews include discussion around the development of skills and competencies, utility increases by nearly 4%. And making performance reviews forward-looking can increase employee performance by 13%.
To shift to forward-looking performance discussions, managers should focus on the future capabilities the organization will need and the career interests and growth the employee wants to achieve.
Gartner suggests managers ask employees questions that span several buckets, including:
The original article by Brent Cassell, vice president for Advisory at Gartner, is here. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HR&DigitalTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/imtmphoto