It's Performance Review Time!

performance review stressIt's that dreaded time again, and no we're not talking about taxes or anything, we're talking about employee performance reviews! Right about now, we start to see employees fidget, maybe up the productivity ante, or simply drag their feet on hitting that performance “submit” button. Generally, there's a negative aura encapsulating the tried and true performance reviews, but why? There seems to be a lack of transference as to why we do performance reviews and the good that can only come through these exercises.

Performance Review Is Communication

For example, an unbiased and effective performance review should open conversation and communication flow between you and your employees. During the quarter, things can get hectic, time is limited, and communication can be disjointed. Performance reviews are designed to tear down those barriers, allowing honest opinions, suggestions, and comments to increase employee engagement. We all want to feel like our time is valued or that our needs our met on both ends of the table, whether you're an employer or employee. This review gives both sides a chance to openly discuss how to improve this mutual gratification in the workplace.

Performance Review Stirs Competitive Nature

Deep down, we all (maybe secretly or further down than others) crave some competition. We want to feel valuable or successful in whatever we do. In the workplace, the same stands true. Constructive criticism and praise is key to keeping that positive, competitive flame burning. We all strive to better ourselves, but how can we do that without feedback and potential criticism? Performance reviews are the perfect way to ignite your employees' natural competitive nature. Not only are you helping to align your employees' performance with your vision, but you're creating this drive to surpass prior performance.

Encourage your managers and employees to see performance reviews as a mutually beneficial process. Employees get a chance to air out frustrations or to ring praise towards the organization, and employers and managers can better align performance and goals, while strengthening the relational infrastructure. It's not meant to put anyone in the “hot seat” or create tension, but performance reviews should motivate and encourage employees while unifying the goals and initiative between managers and their employees. Perhaps they should rename performance reviews to pep talks, but then the stress relief market would probably sue us for their lack of sales. Oh well, until next time, HR community!

To Improve Work Environment, Keep It Quick and to the Point

Many employers and HR professionals are starting to beg the question, “How do my employees feel about their current work environment?” Sure, you have the common questionnaires, surveys, and performance reviews, but is that enough? Questionnaires and surveys carry with them a mixed bag of how answers can be interpreted, the process of formulating the right questions, and how to respond to a wide range of data. Performance reviews, while highly beneficial and necessary, cannot possibly occur enough to address all the concerns. Not to mention, there is something to be said about the truthfulness in anonymity. So, how do you get truthful answers that can allow for constant change and upgrade? Direct questions, as believed by David Niu, founder of consulting firm TINYpulse, should be your go-to when encouraging employee engagement.

Keep Work Environment Questions Direct

When we say direct questions, we are talking about asking employees one simple question at a time via any medium, and often. According to TINYpulse, these answers should be kept anonymous. With a simple work environment question, you will often receive common answers, which indicate a common problem, big or small. Who knows, maybe your employees often feel nauseated by your cleaning supplies but have just never spoken up? Simple fixes can mend even the biggest problems once they're brought to your attention. Especially in smaller companies, developing one direct question at a time does not tug nearly as hard at the company’s budget strings.

Work Environment Questions to Ask

So, what kinds of questions should you be asking your employees? According to Niu, questions like:

  • “Name one process that, were it eliminated, would make you more productive.”
  • “How transparent is management?”
  • “Please rate the quality of the snacks in the kitchen.”

Each question, while seemingly ordered by importance, is equally as important as the rest. These kinds of questions can easily set the pace for corporate change and ultimately, a more pleasant work environment for your employees. Not to mention, us employees like seeing our voices heard, even when that voice is penned under Anonymous in the suggestion box!

Source: HR Morning