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How to Create More Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Everybody knows that famous scene in the movie Office Space, when Peter Gibbons goes into a performance review meeting and talks about how he does nothing at work all day. He is completely disengaged from his job, choosing to play games while on the clock and avoiding any real responsibilities.

While the scene is hilarious in a fictional setting, disengagement in the workplace is very real—and it happens more often than most organizational leaders would expect. Just 15 percent of employees are engaged at work, according to a Gallup poll. Companies want to encourage employee development, ensure that workers are happy and help them perform their best—that's the point of employee performance reviews in the first place. Often times, though, the process of conducting performance reviews misses the mark, and many companies see adverse effects (like disengaged employees), as a result. Thanks to emerging technology, performance reviews don't have to take the stodgy approach of yore. If you haven't already, it's time to ask: Is your organization handling performance reviews in the most effective way?

What Are Performance Reviews?

Performance reviews typically involve a meeting between an employee and a manager where the two discuss the employee's job performance, engage in goal-setting to motivate the employee, set expectations and brainstorm how to boost performance. It's an opportunity for the employee to ask for a promotion or a raise, and a chance for the manager to make clear that an employee needs to step up his game if he's slipping.

Effective performance reviews can be done in-person, over the phone, online or using a combination of all three. It can also be helpful to survey employees before a performance review to give them an opportunity to rate themselves and give the company feedback.

Why Performance Reviews Are Important

Managers need to work hard to find and retain top employees. Through performance reviews, they can identify how to keep these employees by finding ways to advance their careers, giving them constructive advice, listening to their concerns and working to fix them. Plus, if employees aren't currently doing their best, they may step up their game after a performance review and become extremely valuable members of the team.

Research shows that personalized performance reviews are critical to a company's success. According to one Gallup survey, managers who received feedback demonstrated 8.9 percent greater profitability than managers who did not get feedback. And, companies that give regular feedback to their employees report turnover rates that are 14.9 percent lower than at companies that don't provide it.

Despite the benefits of regular employee performance reviews, only 26 percent of employees say their performance is reviewed more than once a year, and less than half are reviewed annually. What's more, only 19 percent of millennial employees receive routine feedback, even though they crave to be involved in an ongoing feedback loop.

Making Performance Reviews Simpler

Annual reviews are often not timely and can lose relevance if there’s no context for a meeting. But performance reviews don't have to be a dreaded annual experience for employees and managers, though. Instead, they can be ongoing and engaging, delivered in frequent, short bursts that prove to be more effective in the long run. Since managers are often too busy to participate in face-to-face meetings all the time, they can also use configurable performance suites to save time and make the process more seamless.

Configurable performance suites give managers an avenue for sharing employee and organizational development opportunities with their teams, while giving workers a platform through which they can form their own employee development ideas and build a personal employee development plan. Using a configurable performance suite, employees and managers can figure out strategies for employee development, whether that involves defining clear goals, asking for coaching, hearing managers' honest feedback, tracking progress or laying out their career paths.

If you are motivated to improve your employee performance review process, then invest in the Cornerstone Employee Performance Suite. This personalized performance platform makes it easy and convenient for both managers and employees to hear and give feedback, and allows employees to take control over their career paths. To learn more, contact Cornerstone today.

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