How to improve performance reviews

Expert shares best practices for improving effective performance management

How to improve performance reviews

When it comes to performance reviews, a one-off assessment each year is just not enough, according to Sandra Reder, founder of Health Bridge HR and Vertical Bridge HR.

“For the most part, there are still organizations that do the annual review, and that's about it. I don't [think] that it really supports their efforts to be a top performing organization… because people need more than annual feedback.”

Instead, employers must shift their approach from “performance reviews” to “performance management”, says Reder.

“An employer has to be very mindful of who they have working for them, how many people they have, and really [understand] what employees want.”

Shift to performance management

It’s important to find “that fine balance in your specific organization that works for your teams, and for your managers, because performance management is a lot of work for a manager,” she says.

A quarter (25 per cent) of workers believe that their performance reviews are negatively affected by their supervisor's personal biases, according to a previous report.

To maximize the impact of performance reviews, organizations should create a culture of continuous improvement, Reder says, and for that to happen, employers must have a good strategic plan for the business. That plan must include all the necessary details, including how to achieve it and how employees play a role in the company’s success, she says.

“If you are looking at continuous improvement, potentially growth within your organization, you have to help people understand how they play a role in achieving that,” she tells Canadian HR Reporter.

“We worked with clients [who] don't really have a clear vision or mission or strategic plan. And their employees have struggled.”

In doing this, regular meetings, semi annual reviews or quarterly reviews that are more formalized may help, she says.

Nearly three in 10 (28 per cent) workers are prepared to leave their employer in the next 12 months, due to poor work-life balance and lack of development opportunities. And employers know they are not doing enough, according to a previous report.

How can performance reviews be improved?

Reder noted that employers looking to improve their assessment process, must not create a one-size-fits-all situation. 

“You really need to assess who your employees are, what stage of their career they are in, what would work best for them. Should they have more of an ongoing sort of performance management program in place?”

And in these conversations with employees, managers and employers must not make empty promises, she says.

“If you say you're going to do something and you don't, it's more detrimental to your business than not doing them at all.”

Here are the trends and challenges when it comes to performance reviews.

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