Performance management should not rest solely on the outcome of a single annual appraisal. Our year-end review examples help you to see the annual assessment as a single marker in the year. As such, annual reviews are useful. However, they should form part of a continuous performance management process that uses such reviews only as the formal marker. Alongside this should be regular self-evaluation and feedback from line managers and peers alike.
At Bridge, we like to say that nothing in an annual performance review should come as a surprise.
With a year-round approach, combining a mid-year review and informal processes, performance is actively managed at all times.
How to Make the Annual Performance Review Valuable
- Standardization with personalization
Your workforce review process should be standardized with precise measurement of performance against goals and objectives. However, individual appraisals must be personalized to be of benefit. Core cultural and workplace objectives can have standardized measures, but individual role-specific performance must be tailored for the individual employee.
- Processes matter
Performance appraisals should have a precise and uniform process within the organization with established timelines and outcomes. This includes informal and formal feedback and evaluation at points throughout the year, especially for new employees and new roles.
- A culture of performance
Performance management should be thoroughly ingrained in the culture of the company at every level. The easiest way to do this is by using an LMS + performance management platform, which is in daily use across the organization and makes everything from 360° feedback to implementing training simple.
- Multi-dimensional feedback
A top-down approach to appraisal is limiting. Instead, performance needs to be assessed against a range of markers from a range of perspectives. This is the arena of 360-degree feedback, which covers self-appraisal, peer appraisal, and management appraisal. It’s the equivalent of comparing a black and white picture with one in full technicolor glory.
- Development linked
Performance appraisals are meaningless if the insights gained aren’t used and acted upon. Most annual performance reviews become devoid of purpose because no action is taken. The process needs to make it easy to link performance to development through functional and worthwhile training and development opportunities.
- Progress aligned
An annual performance review is a snapshot in time. It isn’t significant when it doesn’t compare with what has been before and what comes after. Ideally, performance appraisals should show how progress is made, and identify where it isn’t happening, so action can occur. Again, an LMS + performance management platform makes short work of this kind of evaluation.
- Specific and measurable
The elements included in an annual appraisal form must be both specific and measurable. Too often, we see employee performance review examples that are too vague. Quick scoring against clear objectives and attributes is useful, but there must also be the opportunity to use examples and justifications.
360 Degree Feedback: Use It in All Performance Reviews
As we explain above, multi-dimensional appraisals are far more valuable than a simple top-down approach to performance management.
Being able to reflect on your performance, in line with your career and personal goals, helps you to drive future achievement. The employee can identify and take action on their areas of weakness while also utilizing their strengths to boost overall organizational performance. From within the employee’s mind, this insight gives the manager an on-the-ground impression of what motivates and challenges the individual
An employee will also have a better recollection of individual incidents and events. This provides good structure and benchmarking as well as facilitating self-awareness.
Furthermore, self-appraisal fuels employee engagement. They feel their voice is heard.
- Management evaluation
Management evaluation involves the old-school singular approach to performance, but done well should affect a continual process meandering past a mid-year review and culminating in the annual appraisal.
This takes a high-level look at performance against organizational and departmental objectives. It allows clear talent-mapping for the future and can identify clear development and performance management requirements.
It enables an opportunity for motivating and engaging employees and allows management to analyze the skills and capabilities they have at their disposal. It ensures problems are identified and alleviated, while valuable working relationships are strengthened through reward and recognition.
- Peer evaluation
Peer evaluation form multiple co-workers around the individual employee provides invaluable insight from a range of different perspectives. The benefit of this approach is a level of understanding from across a spectrum and from different angles. This builds a more accurate impression of how the individual performs against core markers.
Additionally, peer evaluation adds depth to analysis. This isn’t just one person’s opinion, but a considered and multi-faceted approach.
Make Staff Appraisal Powerful and Continuous
A staggering majority of companies remain glued to old-school approaches to performance measurement instead of using the tools available to use continuous performance management.
Not only is this time-consuming and laborious, it isn’t engaged with to a high-degree by employees. It’s a snapshot of when performance management should be ongoing, with a real identified purpose.
There is a far more effective performance management process. This involves using both past and present moments to shape the individual employee’s future success against real-time business objectives. With instant recognition and response and genuinely multi-dimensional feedback, employees engage and drive their growth and success.
Evaluation can be meaningful. It can be engaging.
You need the everyday tool to make it happen. That’s Bridge’s Performance Management System.