There's no such thing as a perfect performance management formula that fits every business. What works for a small retailer with fewer than 25 employees is ill-suited for an international corporation with over 500. Despite the fact that people and businesses have their individual differences, everyone wants to feel like their employer will help them succeed. Performance reviews are an important part of providing this security, and there are certain universal mistakes that hold your employees and your company back. If you or your company are guilty of any of the following missteps, it's time to take a serious look at how you review your staff:
1. You're Not Getting Employees Involved in Their Evaluations
Employees who dread performance reviews often do so because they feel they're being criticized. They see these evaluations as negativity sessions where managers point out their past failures and give them no opportunities to explain themselves.
" Ask employees how they feel about the projects they worked on."
It's important to make sure your check-ins and performance reviews don't take on such nasty characteristics. Not only should you be sure to provide tips for improvement and credit employees when it's due, but you should also solicit their feedback. Ask them how they feel about the projects they worked on. What assignments played to their strengths, and which ones did they struggle with? How do they think they can improve? Getting your staff to think critically about their performance gets them more engaged in their work.
Additionally, Entrepreneur suggested you ask employees about their goal-setting methods. Using objectives and key results or S.M.A.R.T. goals should make things pretty uniform across your company, but there are little ways employees can deviate and make the process their own. Understanding how your staff sets goals helps you figure out what their priorities are, which will be useful in future evaluations and assignments.
2. You're Letting Gender Bias Influence Your Feedback
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No one wants to believe they treat one gender less fairly than the other, but research suggests unconscious biases have drastic effect on our ability to give adequate feedback. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, author and lawyer Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio detailed how women in the workplace are less likely to receive constructive feedback. Instead, they're simply given vague criticism with no tips for how to improve. Without such information, women feel less supported by their managers and have a difficult time meeting their goals. Men, on the other hand, often receive helpful feedback like, "You need to work on your time management, so try using a calendar or to-do list."
Luckily, the solution Cecchi-Dimeglio provided is simple. Managers simply need to increase the frequency of their performance reviews and involve a diverse group of people in assessing all of their employees, not just the women.
3. You're Still Holding Annual Reviews
If you haven't yet switched to ongoing performance management, not only are you critically behind most of your competition, but you're failing to assist your employees as best you can. According to HR Morning, the majority of managers hold weekly employee check-ins, while only a handful still have them annually. Employees, especially millennials, want this consistent feedback because makes them feel supported and reinforces their role in the business. Without it, they'll seek employment elsewhere. What's more, you won't be on top of your employee's performance without frequent check-ins and therefore miss key opportunities to help them improve.
If you're guilty of any of these three mistakes, you should reevaluate your performance management strategies as soon as possible. By providing quality feedback on a frequent basis, you create a strong workforce that makes for a quality company.