Hiring is challenging enough, many human resources professionals would claim. Recruiters go to great lengths trying to bring the best talent on board, scrutinizing resumes, cover letters, checking references and even conducting background checks. However, being able to keep up-to-date records of how well employees perform requires almost an equal investment of time and resources to ensure the workforce is productive and pleased with their positions.
Consequently, many organizations have come to depend on performance reviews, a phrase that collectively sends chills down employees' spines. But are they really so bad? Most people have been subject to testing and criticism for the greater part of their lives. It's ingrained into their psyches through education and has largely been a source of motivation for many individuals, so why should the same principle be so distressing when applied to a career situation?
Focus on Who the Review is About Perhaps employees are fed up with the constant criticism, but recent research conducted by Globoforce highlights that much of the frustration the American workforce demonstrates in response to performance reviews stems from relevance. For many, it seems it's not so much the review itself, but rather how employers conduct them that is bothersome. According to the study, employees who have a negative reaction to evaluations feel as though their reviews are not truly indicative of how well they do their jobs 63 percent of the time.
So how do employers make reviews more relevant? The Microsoft model for providing incentives for workers during performance reviews can serve as a cautionary tale for any company that wishes to avoid creating a toxic work environment. Bloomberg indicated that because of the financial rewards offered for more highly ranked evaluations, employees frequently crack under the pressure.
Focus on Quality and Quantity One alternative to holding annual evaluations is simply to segment the process throughout the year. The result would be to have several shorter performance evaluations at intervals, which benefits both the employer and worker. Managers have a better grasp on what an employee has done well within a shorter period of time and staff has a clearer idea of what they're being evaluated on. Moreover, the Globoforce study emphasized the benefit of having a variety of opinions to help support the evaluation process.
Crowdsourcing has been attributed to the success of a multitude of ventures, especially with funding projects that don't have concrete financial backing from a single source. The same idea can be applied to performance reviews. Research indicated 80 percent of respondents felt the most accurate assessment of their work capability came through a blending of manager input and feedback of colleagues and others within their company. Peer-based evaluations can significantly improve the reception of criticism in performance reviews, with caveat that feedback is voluntary instead of mandatory. With this model, 85 percent of employees felt appreciated by their employer and 88 percent expressed greater satisfaction.
Consequently, HR managers don't necessarily have to take all responsibility for evaluating workers, and can create a more streamlined and accurate experience that employees can embrace.