Performance review systems are being ditched as quickly as performance reviews are, it would seem. As a Millennial not long into the workplace, I don’t experience the impending sense of doom friends in other businesses seem to when appraisal time comes around. However, if their company is operating a traditional paper based system it’s easy to understand why the idea of the annual appraisal is disliked; and it’s even easier to see why, when put into practice, my friends and their colleagues in HR wish they didn’t exist.
From the perspective of an office newbie, the annual appraisal seems like a crazy idea. Why would you wait until the end of the year to discuss your progress, and just hope you’ve been going in the right direction for the last twelve months? If you’ve been facing lots of challenges and only really get to speak properly with your manager during your review, what are you supposed to do during the rest of the year? Wait until your appraisal to escalate your concerns?
During the midyear appraisals I watched many of my colleagues go into meetings anxious (and a bit sweaty) because they couldn’t remember the projects and tasks they’d completed in the last six month/year. When I jokingly asked one of them why the company should keep him, I was unprepared for the pure panic in his eyes. Perhaps I’m being young and naive, but surely this shouldn’t be the normal appraisal process?
Wouldn’t it make more sense for staff to be able to document everything they do over the year as soon as they do it, rather than try to come up with it all last minute? I like to think I’m organised, but even I’d struggle to keep a log of everything that I’ve done on a piece of paper and not lose it somewhere over the year – only to find it the day after my review, of course!
It also seems impossible to me that businesses could be making the most of their performance review systems if they’re only using them once or twice a year. If the investment you’ve made is supposed to make your life easier but your software is actually being used as an alternative filing system, are you just paying for a very expensive spreadsheet? It would make more sense to me for businesses to use the resources that they have available to them regularly.
Performance review systems should be more than just tools used once a year to record notes. They should be active and require staff to get involved, rather than exist somewhere in the dark part of the employee mind, ignored until they absolutely have to be paid attention to. In fact, your aim shouldn’t be to performance review; reviewing means looking back, and looking back means it’s too late to change! Staff should aim to be performance achieving, and achievement is only possible with regular checks to ensure you’re still on track.
As I work for Actus™, we use our own software for appraisals and performance management. I can access Actus™ year round, so I know exactly what I’ve been up to in the last 6 months come appraisal time. Perhaps that’s why I don’t dread them!
For more information on how our performance management software Actus™ can embed year round conversation and increase focus and productivity in your organisation, take a look at our white paper on how performance achievement can help employee engagement increase.
Alternatively if you would like to take a look at how Actus™ could help your business just drop us a line at [email protected], visit our website www.actus.co.uk, book a FREE demo of the software by following the link below.