Business Guidance

Improve the Performance Management Process

It’s finally happening! Many organizations are beginning to have honest conversations about the adversities surrounding the annual performance review cycle.  The conventional methods of performance management are inefficient, complex and create inconsistencies across the business so the process is, more often than not, perceived as unfair.

The conventional method is very time consuming and less effective when compared to some of the new trends we are seeing out there. Consider your performance management process:

  • How long does it take the employee to complete the self-assessment?
  • How long does it take the manager to complete the final review?
  • How long does it take HR to facilitate the process?
  • How long does the calibration process take?

If you had to choose to have your employees’ time spent on productive work for the business or working on internal processes like performance reviews, wouldn’t you choose the former?

The trend we are seeing today is that leading talent management organizations are moving away from annual reviews and toward regular feedback sessions. The focus is moving more toward development and skill training versus a formal assessment. Having ongoing check-in’s with employees will help fuel their performance throughout the entire year and providing near-term objectives has been shown to help increase productivity. All of this instills a culture of engagement and puts the improvement process in a more positive light for both managers and employees.

Do you think your review process could use an update? Steps to get started:

  1. Compile data. Do an analysis that includes the time spent per employee on the performance management process. Identify the number of reviews that are submitted well beyond their due date. Provide real examples of reviews that don’t meet the standards and do not match the employee’s actual performance. Identify examples of employees who are genuinely surprised by the feedback they received.
  2. Identify ways that a new structure will benefit the company. Your points of influence may include things such as increased productivity, increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and reduced medical leave requests. Having numbers is important. Network with companies who have already implemented these new processes or research articles that speak to the gains these companies have witnessed.
  3. Include your employee’s in the conversation. Have genuine dialogue with them on how they feel about the performance management process and identify specifics related to what they believe is broken within the system.
  4. Research technology. There are solutions out there that help facilitate the move to a more progressive performance management process. If you have some money in your budget for this, it certainly will enhance the benefits gained.

The great majority of organizations today are still doing things the old-fashioned way, but don’t let this stop you from being a pioneer for your business. It takes one leader who can influence others in the organization to make great change happen.  Those who take on this challenge will find that ultimately business has benefited as well as every employee working for that business. Need help revamping your performance review process? Contact me at (484) 391-2131 or

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