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Performance reviews get a bad rep. They are despised by both employees and managers. In many cases is seems like a colossal waste of time with no tangible benefit. A HR requirement followed mindlessly every year. Katie Heaney from The CUT has the following statistics about the dreadful feeling performance reviews generate and the related expense …
This is, more or less, how 60 to 90 percent of employees (including managers) feel about performance reviews, and yet, nearly 90 percent of companies hold them annually. As well as being nearly universally disliked, annual performance reviews are also expensive — in 2015, the consulting firm Deloitte said its employees and managers spent 2 million hours a year on performance reviews. In 2014, Gap told HuffPostthat it spent $3 million a year into reviews. While some companies have, in recent years, moved to eliminate the formal, annual review process — like Accenture, a global consulting firm which employs more than 330,000 people — they often complicate matters, requiring different departments to come up with their own, individual techniques for evaluating employees.
But both employee and manager can follow certain rules to make the review process more productive and beneficial. (1) Set the Stage: Start by setting a set of objectives goals and assessment criteria. The key word here is “objective” to make sure the feedback can be qualified and addressed rationally. Objective goals like “Define a mentoring plan for team members” or “Reduce developer defect rate to less than 20%” can be measured and allow for more objective performance ratings. (2) Prompt Feedback: When the situation merits feedback — provide it. Good or bad feedback should be provided when the incident is recent. The context is right, everyone is receptive to improve and this is when we should provide honest and appropriate feedback. Bring up something negative that happened six months ago with fuzzy memories is asking for trouble. (3) Be Objective: If the goals are objective and measurable, then the feedback should also be objective. The more “crisp” and well defined the goals are it makes the assessment process so much more objective and not a debate on did you or did you not. 20% defect was the target, anything more is bad, less is better.
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