Actus™ CEO Lucinda Carney was invited to speak at a conference on the subject of performance appraisal earlier this month, a topic you may have noticed has been at the centre of HR maelstrom recently. The big firms like Microsoft, Deloitte, and Adobe have announced that they are ditching their performance appraisal processes. Now, the fact that the rejection of the performance appraisal is actually a dose of the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ doesn’t detract from the fact that the annual appraisal, commonly known as the performance review, is fatally flawed.
The annual performance appraisal is widely hated; in some places so much so that having no appraisal at all has been found to be more effective! Why is that? Well, we believe that that the clue is in the term ‘review’: waiting until the end of the year to give someone feedback on their performance to date is akin to the golf coach waiting until the 18th hole to tell you what you did wrong on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd tee.
All too often appraisals are backward focused, based on a point in time that is long gone; your performance for the year is judged on a decision you were never given the chance to learn from, or centred around feedback that seem no longer seems relevant or helpful for improving performance today. Further, evidence shows that receiving timely feedback and having regular goal setting sessions are both far more effective methods for delivering high performance than the once a year technique. Take a look at our research review linked below to read about the other proven drivers of high performance.
Businesses also struggle with following up on decisions made during appraisals. All too often, nothing results from the conversations had that take place. You may agree development needs or career goals with your manager and document them in the paperwork, but no one ever extracts this data to do something with it. You could be forgiven for wondering what the point is.
So, what is the solution? We advocate a performance achievement focus where objectives are set and reviewed throughout the year. You can see Rahul Varma, Chief Learning Officer at Accenture, discuss this here:
Performance achievement takes a ‘looking forward’ approach, and brings performance appraisal into the 21st century. We recommend teaming performance achievement methods with a performance management software, as the combination of the two will provide active feedback and document development needs and conversations in real time. Discussions aren’t filed away until the next appraisal – comments are available to view year round. This allows training needs to be identified and met within the business year rather than burying them deep within the paperwork.
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.