Over the past 10 years the issue of measuring employee performance based on a traditional model of the annual performance review has received a great deal of attention. The annual performance review has been shown to be ineffective for several reasons. A common factor in the demise in popularity for the annual performance review is the lack of relevant feedback to the employee from the manager in a timely way.
Employees today value feedback that is timely and constructive. Those in a leadership position would do well to focus on the on the merits of taking the time to shift their focus from employee performance reviews as a chore to one of addressing providing the feedback that employees desire.
Businesses that have embraced an approach that offers regular feedback are using a Continuous Feedback Model. The model relies on regular feedback to employees. Feedback is not always on work related issues. It may take the from of inquiry as to special traditions or plans around a public event or holiday. Good communication is the hallmark of the model and requires managers and employees alike to focus on improving their own communication skills and style.
The approach is designed to make a point of letting an employee know when they excelled or when there is an improvement required. Discussions between a manager and an employee occur one-on-one. Leaders ask employees questions that facilitate growth in the form of identification of behaviours that lead to success or a lack of it. Leaders and employees both benefit from the approach in terms of opportunities for growth and correction.
Implementation of the model does require a cultural workplace change or transformation. A period of transition is required for leaders and managers to adjust to providing timely and relevant feedback to their teams. It also requires that leaders improve their own communication styles. This often requires specialized training or mentoring. Employees also require training or mentoring in relation to requesting feedback. The process of requesting feedback becomes the basis for further cultural change in that it brings about sharing and trust. These attributes in turn are the basis for employees and managers alike to change their behaviours to have a different result.
Once leaders and employees are comfortable with a communication process that encourages feedback the process moves from occasionally as in quarterly to a more continuous style. Team members may also offer one another feedback as the comfort in the model grows.
Has your business changed its style of performance appraisal to a form of Continuous Feedback? If yes what have the results indicated? Do let me know as I am genuinely interested.
Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant Change & Transition – email@example.com