Are you making changes to your performance management? If so, you’re in the majority – 81% of HR leaders are overhauling their current strategy to make conversations more meaningful, accurate, and fair.
This statistic comes as no surprise, as in recent years the role and focus of HR have shifted from being more process-focused to being people-focused. And since HR teams own and transform various policies (such as DEI, parental leave, and workplace flexibility), it makes sense that performance management is in line for a refresh.
To create an employee-centric approach to annual performance reviews, embrace a holistic strategy to empower your people, drive employee engagement, and create a productive organization.
4 Steps to Hosting Holistic Performance Conversations
Many companies conduct annual performance reviews to evaluate their employees’ performance over the past year. These reviews:
- Highlight successes
- Pinpoint areas that require enhancement
- Form the cornerstone for setting goals and addressing weaknesses
- Align individual objectives with those of the company
Many people associate these meetings with metrics and appraisals, as performance reports provide an opportunity to evaluate successes, identify improvement areas, and set future goals.
However, there’s a deeper narrative that often goes unexplored. How do employees interact with colleagues? Navigate problems? Model company values?
When you use a holistic approach to year-end performance reviews – acknowledging soft skills, gathering feedback from multiple sources, and providing continued support – you signal to employees that you care about them as growing professionals and people.
So whether you’re building a new process or revamping your current performance management strategy, below are four steps to promote a holistic approach to year-end reviews.
1. Determine and Communicate Your Year-End Review Strategy
What’s an HR leader’s number one concern regarding performance reviews? You’d be right if you guessed ensuring the process was fair and equitable.
That’s because equitable year-end reviews aren’t just about doing the right thing but also creating a culture of trust, transparency, and consistency across the organization.
There are many ways to work towards conducting fair performance reporting, and many aspects start with the foundations of your performance strategy.
- Who is doing the actual reviewing. Some organizations opt for manager-only feedback, while others (like Netflix) use 360 reviews, where peers also review their teammates.
- When reviews take place. While the most common option is the year-end performance review, some companies prefer discussing employees’ current performance on work anniversaries. Others go one step further and schedule quarterly performance reviews in addition to annual ones, citing that routine checks provide more timely and actionable feedback.
- How you will train managers. Numerous studies prove that managers make or break an employee’s experience, and it’s no different when it comes to performance reviews. Unfortunately, only 30% of direct reports think their manager is a good coach, so it’s essential to equip managers with the proper training to support their team.
- What performance technology to use. Hopefully, manually organizing and filing individual employee folders is a distant memory for you. Not only is using performance management technology more efficient, but it can also positively affect perceptions of fairness. Choose a tool that not only houses your employee data but also allows you to run reports to slice and dice your data to ensure equitable performance decisions (like raises, bonuses, and promotions).
- How you’ll communicate your decision. However (and whenever) you choose to host performance reviews, it’s best to share these processes frequently with employees so that everyone knows what to expect and the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Keep your year-end reviews and performance reports in one place for a more organized and efficient performance review experience.