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Annual Performance Appraisal

What’s in a name?

Let’s be honest, we’re always evaluating: in our heads or out loud. But performance reviews differ from those spontaneous evaluations because it’s as formal, periodical, systematical and objective as possible… or, at least that’s what they’re supposed to be. Yeay, It’s time for my evaluation! Surveys generally show that most people think the performance appraisal is a good idea. But in practice, most managers only carry out performance appraisal interviews when they are obliged to and controlled upon. Yeay, my evaluation is spot on! Research shows, next to the low commitment to give/receive the appraisals, that they aren’t always accurately assessing performance. Lots of things can go wrong, in all aspects of the process: the assessor makes mistakes, the assessment is not measuring the performance, …

Ok, we think you’ve got the point now.

We’re not a huge fan of the traditional annual performance review. But hey, god invented change! What habits can we develop to create an effective, year-round appraisal culture in your organization? On the next page, you’ll see some beginner, intermediate and expert level habits to evaluate performance more often and more effective. When you practice these habits, don’t forget there is failure before success. It takes 6 à 7 attempts to create a new habit!

A final note

According to Cleveland, there are 4 big purposes for performance management.

  • First, you have the “between persons” purpose, for determining pay and promotions, evaluating overall performance of personnel…
  • Second, you have the “within persons” purpose, wherein employees receive feedback about the individual performance, strengths and pitfalls, potential need for training…
  • Third, there is the “strategical” purpose, where the performance management is directed towards the overall ambition of the company.
  • Last, you have the “research” purpose, a check if a training program had effect.

Why are we telling you this? If you want a organizational culture where evaluations are effective and not engagement-killers, ask yourself why. You have to decide for yourself what the exact purpose of the evaluation is, And not just do it because you’re obligated to do so. OK, NOW THE final NOTE for real Pulakos and colleagues start their paper about performance reviews pretty negative: “Performance management (PM) is viewed as more broken than ever, with managers and employees seeing it as a burdensome activity that is of little value (…). So where is the disconnect? The problem is that formal PM systems have reduced PM to intermittent steps and processes that are disconnected from day-to-day work and behaviors that actually drive performance: communicating ongoing expectations, providing informal feedback in real time, and developing employees through experience.” But after that, they propose a 5-step PM reform process that helps organizations achieve this change. If you’re interested, you can read the full article HERE.

Do your future self a favor. Subscribe today and we will send you a video on how to create longlasting habits.

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