Make Your Performance Appraisals Part of a Year Round Performance Management Plan
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 06-08-2018 03:30 AM
Synopsis: Managers should consider using employee performance appraisals as part of an overarching, year-round performance management plan. Some benefits include continuous improvement for employees, less pressure on employees, and closer relationships between managers and employees.
While we may like our jobs, there’s one phrase that, in all likelihood, gives us some major angst.
Not only can employees view it as a stressful, anxiety-ridden process, but it often is the only part of the year when employees receive genuine, honest feedback.
While performance appraisals can be a beneficial exercise, we can do better. If you want to get the most out of your employees, you should make an effort to include employee performance appraisals in an overarching year-round performance management plan.
Why is a year-round performance management plan more effective than a one-off performance appraisal that occurs every year? While there are many benefits, here are some of the most significant.
Continuous Feedback Leads to Continuous Improvement
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
A manager and employee sit down and discuss the employee’s performance appraisal. After sharing both the great and not so great aspects from last year, the manager and employee agree on yearly goals or a new yearly plan for the employee. However, the manager rarely (if ever) follows up throughout the course of the year and instead waits until next year’s performance appraisal.
Within many organizations, this is a common pattern. It’s puzzling, however, because organizations are passing on opportunities to further develop their employees.
By embracing a year-round performance management plan, managers can give continuous feedback to employees, which leads to continuous improvement. Managers can hold their employees accountable for their goals and provide updated or clearer objectives as necessary. Most importantly, managers can then provide better quality feedback as the employee completes his or her, compared to the end of the year, when many tasks seem distant.
Instead of setting those goals and forgetting about them, this consistent dialogue between manager and employee will likely lead to better performance in the long run.
As stated, performance appraisals are stressful affairs. Praise and criticism are delivered in one moment, and the uncertainty about the balance of praise and criticism can make employees feel on edge.
By ensuring that the performance appraisal is simply one part of an overarching review process, employees feel more at ease. The stakes don’t feel as high compared to entering a conference room where they will hear the good and bad news from the past year. The employees know that they will receive continuous feedback throughout the year, allowing them to rest assured that they will be able to make course corrections if they are off track.
Ultimately, employees can focus more on the job itself than on the high-stakes meeting that will occur at the end of the year. This shift will make your employees happier, relaxed and more eager to make improvements throughout the year.
Closer Relationship with Managers
By waiting until an end-of-the-year meeting to get real with employees, managers miss opportunities to not only provide solid, responsive feedback, but to build closer relationships with their employees.
Sure, managers may occasionally take their employees out for drinks and may interact with their employees at the organization’s annual holiday party. And granted, these are all great ways to build camaraderie on a personal level.
Having said that, managers can build camaraderie on a professional level by checking-in with employees more often than their annual performance appraisal. By doing this, managers can better understand their employees’ goals and offer constructive advice to help their employees achieve those goals.
By opening the channels of communication throughout the year, managers signal to employees that they are truly interested in their employees’ present performance and future goals. Quite obviously, managers must express a genuine interest in their employees and their goals. But assuming this is true, a year-round performance management plan, rather than a once-per-year performance appraisal, will help managers and employees feel closer on a professional level.
Invest in Success
Performance appraisals aren’t inherently bad, but they can be much more effective if they are part of an overarching, year-round performance management plan. By looking long-term, managers can increase the odds of improving employee performance and building closer connections with their team.
Take a look at TrainingABC's best-selling performance appraisal training program - Conducting Extraordinary Performance Appraisals.