Performance Reviews: Why They Matter More than Ever

For many companies, performance reviews can be an afterthought until the process goes live, and many employees may feel forced to write glowing reviews about colleagues they hardly interact with. Because of this, performance reviews are often overlooked or not even completed at all.  However, if we look at statistics focusing on what it is like in the workplace today, performance management is more important than ever.  

According to Forbes, 79% of employees who leave their jobs do so because of a lack of appreciation. What is even more shocking is that 89% of bosses believe employees leave for more money. This is a huge discrepancy that could easily be solved by better communication between management and their direct reports. Global studies also note that the number one way for a manager to influence an employee to stay is to simply give them more recognition. These statistics show that performance management, when done effectively and methodically, is a great way to not only motivate employees to do better work but also improve retention. 

Here are some ways you can get the most out of performance reviews:

Make your reviews valuable

Managers are often tasked with so many things that performance reviews can become a huge, daunting task. You can overcome this challenge by making performance management a part of your company’s culture and not something done the last week of the work year. Keeping tabs on employees throughout the year and giving recognition of when they go above and beyond makes performance management more effective, and managers better leaders. Also, don’t be afraid to let employees know how they can improve. If they are a great employee, they will embrace the feedback.  

Keep feedback open

Many performance reviews only involve the manager and direct report but getting feedback from multiple sources can also be extremely effective. Is one of your direct reports working on a special project with another team? Getting feedback from those team members is only going to show more ways the employee can improve their performance. The more, the merrier!  

Give reviews meaning

Often times, an employee’s review collects dust and is never seen again. This can happen if reviews are not tied into anything that matters to the employee such as promotions, higher compensation, or a roadmap for further career development. If you use reviews to reward employees for a job well done, it will only motivate employees to not only do better work, but also stay with your organization. Employees want to grow and if they can’t do that in their current role, they may think it’s time to move on.     

Make reviews fun!

Another reason why reviews are often overlooked is because, let’s face it, the questions are boring. If your questions begin with “On a scale from 1 to 10…” you probably need to start thinking about reevaluating your content. Think outside the box and ask questions that aren’t just about the employee themselves but also about how they can improve their daily work-life.  Ask questions that will make them happier (Should we have a costume party for Halloween?) is a step in the right direction.

As you can see, performance management has become a necessity in today’s workplace. Giving feedback that is valuable is going to help spur opportunity for employees. Thinking about performance management as part of a company’s culture creates an environment that encourages constant feedback. If you give these reviews meaning and make them more fun instead of a mandatory, end-of-the-year task, you will see happier employees that will stay instead of going to the competitor next door.