Last month, I was having a conversation with an HR Director who was brand new to her role in a company that she had experienced both love and loss with. She told me a story of when she first started with the company, she had having an amazing year. That was, until her performance review. The system they had been using was, in her opinion, fundamentally flawed with “tunnel-vision” that only showed the outcome of her goals.
That year, she had been taking chances, trying new ideas, and living into the spirit that the company believed in. But because she was taking so many risks, she also experienced many failures, which resulted in a quantitatively low score on her year-end review. Looking back, this now HR Director was proud of the tough calls she had made, but that poor review was incredibly demoralizing and she almost left the company.
We hear this story all too often; performance reviews that were made for a bygone era that ignores that failure can be a good thing, if you learn from it. The question that is begged remains: Is there a solution, or do you get rid of Performance Reviews altogether?
Don’t get rid of performance reviews: The emerging workforce of millennials want a solution. Studies showing that the best thing an employer can do to be attractive to a perspective hire is provide opportunities for career progression, and that the highest value career/development opportunity comes in the form of working with strong coaches and mentors.
So how do you create a performance management system that gives your HR team the data that they need, while still representing the nuances that help you recognize an employee who is taking good risks? The right answer for your team is going to be unique and customized, but here are some good first steps:
- Be aware of emerging trends and don’t re-invent the wheel
- Gain perspective with ongoing and 360-Feedback
- Have your employees do self-reviews that they care about
- Automate your process and put everything on a simple system
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