When implementing any system, especially a performance review system at your organization, it is important to solicit, collect, and consider feedback from both stakeholders and end users. In order for a positive adoption of the tool you must be open to iteration, but also steadfast in your end mission. Outlined below are three tips for hearing feedback on your performance management system without allowing the project to be derailed.
1. Keep your Eye on the Clock
This may seem like an obvious one – but make sure there is an end date for accepting feedback. I am famous for telling clients to change things all they want until a tipping point when the window closes and I make that date very clear. There are always things you may want to tweak or change but ultimately you need to set an end date for this time around. There are always future cycles or changes for next time you can make.
Advanced notice is obviously appreciated, and even an introductory meeting or training on the performance review system or tool is helpful. Encourage and ask for questions along with risks that participants may see in order to vet all possible options and flaws a larger audience may find with the choices you have made. Every viewpoint is important and must be considered in order for a successful roll out.
2. Draft Your Feedback Team with Purpose
Asking every manager or stake holder for their opinion will be a futile effort and cause more frustration than it is worth as you spend more time tracking down participants than actually working on the software. Identify the individuals to provide insight with purpose, this may be other Human Resource professionals, top level leadership or a tenured manager. The idea is that you would rather these individuals raise concerns during the feedback phase than when the tool is live.
Be concise in your request and make sure they know why you are asking them for feedback. Requests might range from, ‘can you give me your perspective on the pros and cons of this system from last year?’ to a tenured manager. Or ‘we need you in the session to get final approval on the system’ to your CEO.
Even though you can’t ask everyone during implementation – that doesn’t mean their feedback on a new system or process isn’t meaningful. Make sure to collect their feedback after roll out for future iterations, we love Inc.’s tips on how to get feedback from employees.
3. Use the Mission as Your Playbook
Know why you are implementing the performance review system, what is driving this project? Once you answer that you can frame any feedback from the above parties. Common reasons might include:
- Need to automate your performance reviews.
- To collect and encourage regular feedback from employees and managers.
- Create a process for identifying high performers for promotions or compensation.
- Required by law or accreditation to complete performance reviews.
No matter the reason, the important part of this tip is figuring out what it is for your organization. Valid feedback might come back but can be addressed with the fact that it either aligns or doesn’t to your end mission. One part of your new system may be moving to a single review date which could solicit negative feedback from managers, however, if automation is your mission then this is a necessary compromise.
Another example of critical feedback might be having reviews or check-ins multiple times a year, which supports a mission of collecting regular feedback. All opinions are important but your job as the in-house advocate of your performance review system is to ensure you are meeting your mission. Elevate and adjust the tool when the feedback aligns with what you are trying to accomplish and when it doesn’t share the reasoning with the individual as to why the tool was not implemented in that way.
Finding a balance between collecting and acknowledging feedback, and powering through to finish a project is always a tough call. We hope these tips help you welcome feedback at the right time, from the correct people and with the mission of your project always in your line of sight.