6 minute read – Posted by – February 21, 2018

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Performance Reviews

Performance reviews can be a hit or miss for managers and their employees.

Since there are so many moving parts in the performance management process, it’s important to see where modern companies really stand when it comes to performance reviews.

Here are 8 things you probably didn’t know about performance reviews:

Performance Review Statistics

1. Performance Reviews Can Help Employees Grow

½ of employees believe performance reviews help them progress and think about their career.

Not all performance conversations need to include a career development element. That being said, when done right, performance reviews provide us with the necessary information to match employees with developmental opportunities.

It’s important for managers to be aware of the strengths and career interests of their employees. As there is no doubt the skills they acquire will directly impact the performance of the team. Managers can leverage performance reviews as an opportunity to learn about the areas of growth their employees can develop based on the time and resources of the company.

Before you keep reading, find a checklist on how to create employee development plans here.

2. Managerial Commitment Dictates Employee Performance

Managers spend an average of 210 hours a year on performance management.

The process of conducting performance reviews can be highly time-consuming for managers. That doesn’t mean managers should look upon it as just another task to check off. There are ways to reduce the number of hours spent collecting employee information for performance reviews. A manager’s commitment to having data-rich conversations with their employees ultimately dictate how well they perform in the future.

For instance, using a software to track employee progress throughout the year will make it easy for you to pull-up employee information when it comes time for performance reviews. Imagine the time you’ll save just by not having to recollect how Sally was performing 10 months ago. Not only will this save you time, but having accurate data means your commitment to excellence as a manager has only improved and all the while saving you hours in the week.

3. Performance Management Systems Can Be Improved

88% of U.S. companies are planning to rethink their performance management systems.

Now, more than ever, leading companies want to have meaningful and data-driven performance conversations. In the past, performance reviews often occurred annually and were siloed from all other company-wide activities.

Today, companies are making the connection between leveraging data and improved results from performance reviews. This means compiling employee performance data from 1-on-1s, goals, feedback, and recognition—all in one place. Rethinking their performance management process has helped companies eliminate recency biases that occur when managers and employees have to recall year-long information.

What processes do you currently have in place to compile all relevant employee data in an easily digestible format?

4. Employees Need To Have Regular Conversations On Performance

70% of multinational companies are moving towards having regular conversations about performance and development.

While company-wide performance reviews might only occur once or twice a year, this doesn’t mean the conversation needs to stop. If anything, the modern company should be moving towards having regular conversations about performance and development. This is where performance documentation comes in and will really help managers conduct reviews towards year-end.

Consider incorporating a performance element in 1-on-1s between managers and employees. For instance, if your 1-on-1s are usually bi-weekly and focused on planning for upcoming tasks, consider reviewing and reflecting upon previous tasks. This is where managers can give more immediate feedback to ensure performance quality improves throughout the year.

5. Employees Value Performance Feedback

Just over 63% of employees think end of year performance reviews are worth their of time.

Performance feedback can be intimidating to receive. Can you imagine what employees would think if you ask, “can I give you some feedback?”. While it can be challenging to receive feedback, it doesn’t mean employees don’t find it helpful or worthwhile—we often avoid putting ourselves in a position of discomfort even if it means potential gains.

In fact, the majority of employees surveyed, do find value in the feedback they receive from end-of-year performance reviews. Performance reviews can be a very rewarding activity for employees. It allows everyone to set aside time to reflect on their own performance, identify personal strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and come out with developmental actions.

6. Not All Performance Ratings Are Bad

⅔ of employees believe their last performance rating was fair and a similar number claims to have expected the rating.

Providing employees with performance ratings are not necessarily a bad thing as long as they add value in one way or another. Perhaps specific performance ratings impact compensation conversations and aren’t necessary for coaching conversations. At the end of the day, it’s doing what best fits your company.

At 7Geese, we believe performance ratings should be optional. That means managers should be able to turn them on and off when and where they see fit. Alternatively, managers can use competency scales and other rating systems to quantify the performance of employees, departments, and the overall company.

Check out the guide to implementing performance reviews.

Also published on Medium.

May Chau

May is a content expert contributing to the improvement of modern performance management at 7Geese. Connect with her via may@7geese.com