Employers, Give Your Best Midyear Reviews Yet
For millions of employers across the country, the months of June and July are focused on much more than planning a summer vacation: it’s midyear review time. For many employees, midyear reviews are marked by anxiety and frustration. But what value does a midyear evaluation actually have for an employee? Ultimately, the responsibility to supply employees with constructive, beneficial feedback falls on the manager or employer.
Measuring employee performance is a lot trickier than it was a few decades ago when the most common metric was how many widgets were produced in a given time frame. Today, managers are faced with conducting a performance review that factors in a wide range of criteria, many of which aren’t quite so easy to quantify.
Because no single metric can provide a comprehensive measure of employee performance, it’s best to develop a performance management strategy that incorporates various inputs to help managers measure not just productivity, but also engagement. A performance review should be a natural extension of the ongoing dialogue between managers and employees. Yet, many managers and employees don’t have regular check-ins with enough frequency for the conversation to pick up where it was left off.
According to Bridge by Instructure, 25 percent of annual turnover is voluntary, and 75 percent of that turnover is influenced by a manager’s behavior. What’s more, one in five employees are not confident their manager will provide regular, constructive feedback, and only 49 percent of employees find reviews to be accurate. Ninety percent of HR heads don’t even believe annual reviews yield accurate information.
According to Bridge, 88 percent of managers believe reviews aren’t worth their time, and 58 percent of executives believe their current performance process doesn’t drive employee success. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve received, or given, unclear feedback. That’s why managers need to feel empowered with the tools to give constructive and meaningful feedback. One way of doing this is through utilizing resources such as video and peer feedback. Statistics show that video learning makes employee training 83 percent more effective over time, ensuring that your managers are equipped to give constructive reviews time and time again.
Practicing giving feedback through peer-to-peer video assessment and coaching, for example, reinforces skills, increases collaboration, and enables continuous learning for the digital age. Employers, just as much as their employees, need to work on increasing confidence and competence. How are employers expected to be able to give good feedback to their own employees if they themselves are not confident in the advice they are giving? When employers are empowered and prepared to properly engage with their employees, that engagement will grow talent, drive innovation, and sustain a continuous learning culture companywide.
As the modern workforce evolves, so should the methods for evaluating it. Companies that align performance evaluation and talent management with worker needs will reap the rewards of reduced turnover, higher productivity, and increased employee engagement. Below are four tips for employers to make this year’s midyear reviews engaging and beneficial to employees.
Give managers a little (or a lot of) direction. Managing employees doesn’t always come naturally; supervisors at all levels could use some guidance when it comes to evaluating performance. This can be as simple as ensuring that a 1:1 midyear conversation happens, or as detailed as a 360-degree evaluation, which requires input from employees, managers, and peers.
Replace or supplement annual performance reviews with frequent employee check-ins. Employees need regular feedback—and they need it now. Rather than conducting annual performance reviews, effective managers conduct employee check-ins at a set frequency throughout the year. It’s recommended that these meetings take place regularly and that they serve as a platform for providing constructive feedback and transparency. If an employee is falling short, addressing the issue immediately is the best approach to solving the problem.
Focus on achievements and progress, not on tenure. The longer employees stay with your company, the greater their expectations become. However, tenure shouldn’t automatically translate to a raise, especially when employees who may have been there less time have already proven themselves to be valuable assets to the company. By reflecting on goals and other work contributions throughout the year, employees will be motivated by recognition for good work instead of expecting a sum for simply sticking around another year. But managers and HR teams need to communicate goals with employees long before the performance review so they know what’s expected of them. Regular 1:1s are the ideal time to assess employee progress toward meeting goals and to make adjustments along the way.
Help employees map the path to improvement. Each employee review is an opportunity to assign training. Even your all-star employees have a lot to learn, whether it’s developing a new skill or getting certified in the latest software suite. No matter the job description, continuous improvement should be part of the job requirement.
 Workforce Mood Tracker
|Emily Foote, VP Customer Engagement, Instructure
Driven by the ideal of providing equal education opportunities for all learners, Emily co-founded Practice, now acquired by Instructure.
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