Can Your Performance Management System Survive The Winds Of Change?*

Most of us are familiar with annual reviews: You meet with your manager at the start of the year to discuss goals and objectives, you touch base six months later to see how things are tracking and then have a formal review at year’s end to see how it all went. 

CEB Research have found that 95 per cent of managers are dissatisfied with their performance management process, and 59 per cent of employees don’t feel their performance reviews are worth the time they take.  

A number of high-profile firms such as General Electric, Deloitte and Adobe have done away with annual reviews altogether.

For many of us, the real question is not “should I do away with my annual reviews”, but “what can I do to improve my performance management process with the limited time and budget I have?”

Here are some thoughts along those lines:
Don’t make change just for the sake of it
There’s nothing wrong with trialling a few improvements, but if your existing system is already delivering real value to your organisation then changing for the sake of change may not be your best option.

Do you really need an Overall Rating?
Forcing managers to assign a single rating to their staff may be doing more harm than good – consider removing this requirement from your existing performance management process.

Catch up more often
There’s no rule that says you have to ditch your existing annual review system in order to catch up with your staff more often. A one-on-one monthly meeting with each of your direct reports – perhaps over a coffee – can keep you in the loop and give your staff a chance to be heard.

Think about what you measure
Don’t be afraid to trim questions that aren’t going anywhere, and don’t be afraid to add new ones that can add greater value to your performance management.

In conclusion …
Performance Management systems are no different from any other business system – they need to be maintained and improved in order to keep providing the Return On Investment your organisation demands.  
*Copy supplied by Geoff Dawes, Business Analyst at Frontier Software