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5 ways to ace performance reviews all year round

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Performance management is not dead, but the old way of doing it certainly is. In this article we highlight why performance management should not be a one off occurrence but instead an all year round process.

HR professionals should be continually reviewing their performance management process to check it is still adding value to employees and the business. Does it support the manager–employee relationship? Does it give employees context about the work they do and its impact?

Here we share five ways in which the 'dreaded appraisal' can be transformed into a more meaningful and collaborative process.

1. Keep a performance journal

It is important for both managers and employees to note down their milestones, accomplishments, successes and challenges as they occur, when the details are fresh in their minds. Keeping a journal will allow you to refer back on these milestones and set future goals and objectives.

2. Monitor progress on goals

Managers and employees should review goals on a regular basis. The goals need to remain appropriate and relevant to ensure they can still be achieved. A lot can change throughout a year therefore it is important to ensure both managers and employees are happy with the current goals and what they mean. 

3. Provide ongoing coaching and development activities

Employee development should not be addressed once a year. Development activities should be assigned to employees throughout the year to ensure growth and improvement. Regular meetings between managers and employees will allow these conversations to take place.

4. Communicate the value of ongoing performance management 

It is vital to continually remind employees to make notes on their performance and update the status of their goals and development activities. Employees should be educated on the relevance of performance reviews and what they mean for them. This will encourage them to continuously be aware of their personal development.

5. Support managers with the right tools

Providing leadership training, tools and resources to support managers in providing ongoing coaching and feedback is very important. A centralized performance management system can help by automating key steps, such as tracking feedback, goal progress and development activities at regular intervals.

Companies need to work hard to remove the ‘fear factor’ when it comes to performance review by providing employees with ongoing coaching and feedback. This will help build and reinforce a trusted relationship between the manager and the employee which is a crucial step for driving employee engagement and high performance. This doesn’t just mean setting up one to one meetings but going beyond that and setting context to what the discussions should look like. These sessions should include elements such as tracking and collaborating on goals and projects, exchanging meaningful feedback and discussing career development opportunities. With this in place both managers and employees will see the true impact performance management can make.

Want to find out more about how your company can improve its performance review process? Read the full article ‘The future of performance management beyond appraisals’ published in Strategic HR Review.

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