Performance appraisals, a journey rather than a destination.
If we asked you to provide a quick summary of your work achievements over the past twelve months, the chances are that you’d easily call to mind the highlights of the past few months. As you go backwards in time, however, your recollection will become weaker, and you’ll very likely forget or overlook some of your noteworthy achievements from early in the year.
This is simply human nature. We pay most attention to what is most recent in our experience, and the passing of time relegates older occurrences to the vaguer parts of our memory.
And yet, despite the fact that this is undeniably true, many companies persevere in carrying out performance reviews just once a year, almost ensuring that much of what should be discussed will simply fall off the page with the passing of time.
This is why a performance appraisal system from a platform like Frankli is such an important part of the modern HR armory. Why so? Because it enables a review process that can take place every quarter, every month or every week of the year, and that successfully captures all the key moments of the team member’s performance during that time frame.
Here are three really big ways in which it can help conduct performance reviews that are comprehensive, timely and welcomed by team members.
Make reviews a two-way street. When you use the ‘Open Reviews’ feature in Frankli, both parties to the review get to input anything that they believe is important – right throughout the year. Effectively, it opens up a useful conversation that is informed by both parties. This two-way traffic should be a key part of every successful performance appraisal system.
The team member not only gets to highlight achievements but can also mention challenges or difficulties - and what support is needed to overcome them. And when this form of two-way input is then referenced at a formal review, the agenda is much more comprehensive than it might otherwise be without regular interaction between manager and team member. Nothing important is forgotten, and both parties get to cover everything that’s on their minds.
The third benefit of two-way conversations is that team members can comment on the strengths or weaknesses of their Manager in a non-judgemental or confrontational setting. This provides double with the value from the review process, as there is a learning process in place for both parties.
Increase the frequency of the ‘sit-down meeting’. Even allowing for capturing the highlights and lowlights of the team member’s year, there is still a lot of scope for improving the effectiveness of the formal review. But why wait for a twelve-month period to conduct it – surely quarterly or half-yearly would make more sense for the majority of companies?
By increasing the frequency of the review process, it ceases to be such a big deal for the team member, and there is no sense of trepidation at what the outcome might be. It also makes the review much more of a routine part of working life – something that’s meant to help rather than concern the team member.
By having a formal performance appraisal system in place, setting up regular reviews is simplicity itself. And because you’re not looking to cram everyone’s review into the month of December or the last quarter of the year, there is more time for each individual meeting.
Treat your performance appraisal system as a journey rather than a destination. When you’re looking to build a high-performance culture, you build it brick by brick, day by day. Every day is a learning day, and every day is an opportunity to develop newer and better ways of doing things.
It should be exactly the same as your performance management goals. Waiting for a formal annual review can waste untold opportunities to encourage, recognise, congratulate or correct errors as and when they crop up. Even if it’s only a two-line entry on a team member’s Frankli profile, saying ‘Well Done’ immediately after success is way more valuable and impactful than bringing it up at the end of the year.
The bottom line is that increasing the frequency – and decreasing the formality – of your performance appraisal system can be hugely powerful in integrating continuous improvement and development into the company culture.
If you would like to read more on the topic of continuous feedback for people leaders, then why not download our free eBook right here.
For further information on how Frankli can help you to implement a performance appraisal system, feel free to book a Product Demo here.