Beneficial...or a Waste of Time, How Do Your Employees Feel About Their Annual Performance Review?

Posted by Karen Harlan on February 3, 2016

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It is that dreaded time of year for most employees, the Holidays have come and gone and many of us are focused on Performance Reviews. If you were to poll your employees, what percentage of your team would feel like the performance review cycle has value? Or is your review cycle viewed as a tedious exercise that managers and employees must endure every year with little value.

We have compiled a few reasons why employees feel the process lacks value, and a few suggestions to increase engagement. 

  1. I have a meeting in January with my supervisor in which he/she hands me a piece of paper with some of my job duties and goals for the upcoming year, and it is never mentioned again until the end of the year. We hear these types of comments a lot; especially when employers are utilizing a paper process to complete reviews. Without an effective system for continual collaboration, the annual performance review quickly becomes a “what does the employee and/or manager remember” review. For the review to be effective and valuable, managers and employees need a place to document activities and files to support the process. This documentation supports the score and feedback given to the employees.
  2. In my performance review planning meeting, my supervisor pointed out that I needed to grow my skills in certain areas; however I have no idea how they expect me to acquire these skills. Many times managers need to write development plans for their employees, but struggle in recommending courses or activities to complete. This either leads to incomplete development plans, or managers making frequent calls to HR asking for training recommendations as they are not aware of the skills and competencies gained by attending a specific training class. Many companies have eliminated this disconnect by utilizing a talent management solution that makes course recommendations based upon the skills and competencies selected during the development plan creation. This instantaneously provides managers with some classes to recommend to their employees, and eliminates multiple calls to HR.
  3. We don’t need a formal process to determine my contribution to the company. If I am not good at my job, I will not be working here anyway. Many employees have tunnel vision when it comes to their jobs. Company goals need to be clearly articulated and cascaded to each department so every employee knows how they are measured in relation to the success of the company.
  4. I don’t have a clear picture of how HR uses the information compiled every year from performance reviews. It seems like they are placed in a file never to be discussed again. Many companies tout their policy to promote from within when possible; however most employees do not understand how HR uses their performance scores to identify top performers. To increase employee engagement, HR needs to frequently communicate to employees their ability to select career paths, and how top performers are selected for succession plans. Employees will place more value on the performance review process if they understand how the information is used in tools like a 9 Box to identify top performers for promotions.

With increased employee visibility in corporate goals and a basic understanding of the correlation between performance scores and succession plans; employees will have increased engagement and a better understanding of the importance of annual performance reviews.