Should You Fire Your Employee Performance Review Process?

By Matt Raymond

There’s no doubt a good employee performance review process is essential for success in a company. Most managers know they need to provide feedback to employees. Unfortunately, most businesses are doing job performance reviews incorrectly.

If you are going to implement an employee performance evaluation system, then you need to be sure to choose a performance review program that will have a measurable impact on employee behavior and productivity. But how do you assess whether your current review process is working?

Signs that Your Performance Review Process Isn’t Working

Just because you have a system to provide feedback to employees doesn’t mean that it works. Here are a few signs that it might be time to revamp your employee review process:

  • High turnover
  • Burdensome manual work and data input
  • Low morale among employees
  • Irregular feedback intervals
  • Inconsistency in implementation for different employees
  • Performance reviews fall to the back burner
  • Overall dissatisfaction among employees or managers

The goal of the employee review process is to offer useful information to help individuals progress and grow in their career. But, most of the time, managers feel like they are just going through the motions to check something off their to-do list. If you notice this trend in your company, then right now is a great time to implement a new system that will help improve development, engagement, and performance.

Do Employee Performance Evaluations Really Work?

Employee performance evaluations are an opportunity for employee and manager to meet so that they can discuss goals, priorities, and results. Many dread these meetings because they feel the reviews require a lot of work with minimal payoff.

The truth is a good employee performance management system can be the foundation for business success. Not only are you providing suggestions and feedback, but the meeting also offers an opportunity to discuss successes and collaborate on a growth plan. This information can be a great data point to support promotions and raises for employees.

A good employee performance evaluation is an opportunity for employee and manager to meet so that they can discuss goals, priorities, and results.

Simplify Job Performance Reviews and Optimize Productivity

So, what should you do if your job performance review system isn’t meeting your expectations? You have two options—improve your employee performance review process or start over with a new program. In many cases, it is better to start fresh rather than trying to rehabilitate a program that isn’t working.

Here are 6 tips for more successful performance reviews:

  1. Document the Reviews: Everything needs to be documented so that you can refer to the performance reviews if needed. So, it is essential that you have a system in place that makes it easy to log the reviews. The best human resources software will enable managers to simplify written job performance reviews and file the information for the future.
  2. Keep it Positive: Delivering negative feedback can have an adverse affect on employee morale. While it is important to provide constructive criticism, you also need to be sure that you’re looking for ways to add a positive light to the situation. Employees will be more engaged in discussing—and working toward—a “development plan” than “areas to improve.” Focus on continual progress, setting achievable goals that are personalized to the employee, and approach the process as a collaboration.
  3. Be Specific: Vague feedback in a job performance review is confusing because the employee won’t walk away with actionable steps to improve their results. Cite specific circumstances and behaviors that are causing problems. Then, you can discuss the way the behavior can be changed to achieve the desired results.
  4. Follow Up: A single feedback session can get the ball rolling but performance reviews should be a dialogue rather than an annual check-in. Follow through with regular conversations to identify changes and see if the employee is on track to meet the goals that were discussed. Employee performance evaluations are only effective if the person knows that there will be follow-up sessions several times during the year.
  5. Start Early: The first job performance review should happen during the employee onboarding process, setting the tone for the duration of employment. New employees will know what to expect as they continue working for the company.
  6. Ask for Self-Feedback: Self-reviews can be a powerful way to help employees take responsibility for their performance. The individual will have the opportunity to reflect on the results that were achieved, and provide insights about skills and training that could help them succeed in the workplace.
Your employee job performance review process can be the foundation for employee success.

Now Is the Time to Get Started with a New Employee Performance Review Process

If you’re dissatisfied with the results that you are getting from your current employee performance review process, then right now is a great opportunity to fire your current system and start fresh.

PrismHR can help you understand options to implement a high performing employee performance evaluation program. Contact us to learn more.