December marks the end of fiscal year for many companies. And about this time, many companies start thinking about annual reviews. Does that word make you cringe? The "annual review", while it should be seen as a positive experience that provides opportunity and growth, carries such a negative connotation. The stress, the amount of work to facilitate, the expectations around compensation increases - it's no wonder people dread them.
However, there has been a mind shift around the traditional "annual review" process. You may have heard a lot of talk lately of several large corporations moving away completely from annual reviews.
This is not just the latest business trend. There are so many studies out there that prove the benefits of moving to a more frequent feedback cycle. Feedback is more timely and relevant. Managers are able to better course correct when addressing issues early on. It removes the stigma around the "dreaded review". Employees who receive more regular feedback tend to be happier and more engaged. And engaged employees typically are more productive employees. One other major benefit is that more frequent feedback cycles lead to a less laborious review process overall.
Now there isn't one magic formula on the best way to change your review process. Each company needs to decide what will ultimately work best for them. But a few common changes we're seeing include:
- weekly or every other week one-on-one check-ins between managers and employees.
- monthly or quarterly larger check-ins on goal setting
- simplifying the peer feedback process - a couple simple questions to co-workers about their fellow employees
- incorporating a Performance Management software to help track feedback and measure engagement.
What all of this ultimately boils down to is opening up better communication. Creating a culture not afraid to communicate on what's going well, or what has room for improvement. So it's not just a process shift, it's an entirely new way of thinking, that affects multiple facets of your business.
If you'd like help reviewing your current reviews, and coming up with a plan for change, give us a call for a free strategy session.