Performance Reviews * What’s the Benefit?

Naomi Alderman recently dissected the six-month performance review in a recent issue of The Guardian. Alderman questions the value of the six-month review. She says most people would honestly answer, if allowed, “I did a pretty OK job, and I’m happy to go on doing the same for the next six months.” When the goal is to increase employee engagement – increase their level of discretionary effort – then continuing to do a “pretty good job” won’t accomplish that.

Alderman also points out that receiving feedback once or twice a year is pointless as the instances requiring feedback – positive or negative – are likely long forgotten. Alderman says, “A good manager will give feedback once or twice a week, and certainly at the end of any substantial project.”

That is precisely what good managers do. Unfortunately, managers often do not have a good tool at hand to both provide the feedback and record it for instant viewing by HR or even executives. A strategic recognition program provides such a tool by not only categorizing why an employee is being recognized – by peers as well as managers – but also reporting on that recognition in meaningful ways for company leadership. Trending of recognition performance by employee, by team or by division also provides excellent “lagging indicators” of areas of success as well as areas needing improvement.

Are you gaining the insight you need from your performance appraisals – either as an HR executive, a manager, or the employee on the receiving end? Tell me about it in comments.

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