Eight Ways Department Managers Can Improve The Employee Annual Review Process

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Although the annual performance review process can be a source of anxiety for some employees when they don’t know what to expect and an overwhelming task for their department leaders who are responsible for conducting numerous staff assessments in record time, it can actually be a win for all if put in the right perspective.

Original Article here.

The review process is not only a time to discuss how to improve and grow in challenging areas, but it’s also an opportunity to highlight successes and ways to build on what’s already working to move the department and the entire organization forward. To make the undertaking less cumbersome and more convenient, eight members from Forbes Human Resources Council each share one great idea to transform the annual performance review process for the better.

1. Keep It Super Simple

Annual reviews are time-consuming and immobilize your workforce. Keeping the assessment process concise will help your employees not feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time of the year. – Deborah Caulet, Blinkist

2. Touch Base Regularly To Discuss SMART Goals

Consistent feedback is the key to effective annual reviews. Employees are often anxious when performance review cycles are approaching and that is mainly due to a lack of clarity on where they stand. Managers should set SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Then, touch base with their direct reports on a regular basis so that employees not only understand management’s expectations but also their own productivity. – Imani Carroll, Just Food For Dogs

3. Make The Experience Engaging And Interactive

Annual reviews need to be an engaging, interactive 360 experience. It’s not simply about reviewing the employee but about creating a dialog that allows for everyone in the discussion to be reviewed and share constructive feedback with each other. – William Stonehouse, Crawford Thomas Recruiting

4. Create Motivating Group Incentives

Adding a group incentive or formulating healthy competitions can help. Having a tracker to monitor how many reviews have been done can motivate leaders to push to complete. – Tiersa Smith-Hall, Impactful Imprints, Training & Consulting

5. Offer Multidirectional Reviews

Most annual reviews are unidirectional from boss to subordinate. Multidirectional reviews are better received and more accurate. This might include feedback from peers, key customers (internal or external), subordinates and others. Gathering multiple perspectives paints a more accurate picture of performance. – Tracy Maylett, DecisionWise

6. Allow Employees To Drive Quarterly Check-Ins

Annual reviews are dreaded by managers for being a pain to conduct and overwhelming for employees to receive. Providing more frequent feedback is an effective way to manage performance, and it’s recommended that managers and employees meet on at least a quarterly basis. Allowing employees to drive the quarterly process by scheduling the meetings, documenting the discussions and finalizing the results is empowering for employees. – David Weaver, Compensation and HR Group

7. Focus On Improving Performance Rather Than Documenting Tasks

Do away with annual reviews as they are outdated. Swap your old-school annual review process for quarterly check-ins and constant feedback. Waiting until annual performance reviews to address employee performance does nothing to improve performance. It serves solely as a documentation task. This is why many companies are capable of tracking performance but few are capable of improving it. – JacLyn Pagnotta, Allied Partners

8. Ask For Specific Details That Are Measurable

Employee annual reviews can be daunting for the HR team, direct manager and employee. It is imperative to the process that questions are kept simple and asks specific details that can be measured objectively. Also, the questions must be focused on the employee’s experiences, perspectives and specific skills that are position-related. – Chandran Fernando, Matrix360 Inc.

Successful HR executives from Forbes Human Resources Council offer leadership and management insights.

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Crawford Thomas RecruitingEight Ways Department Managers Can Improve The Employee Annual Review Process