Performance Reviews: Creating A Culture Of Ongoing Development

As a manager, part of your role is to actively support your teammates and help them develop and improve in their jobs. Hence, it is important for you to set the right tone and communicate that to your team. 

Performance reviews have been traditionally seen as a way to weed out poor performers or decide who gets a raise. However, in the era of the Great Resignation, how a company treats its employees makes or breaks the culture. In such evaluations, aim for one thing: to strengthen your organization’s culture and reinforce its values.

Elements of a Performance Review

A performance review is a regulated assessment strategy where managers and other stakeholders evaluate an employee’s work performance. The purpose is to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, offer constructive feedback for skill development in the future, and assist with goal setting.

Traditional performance reviews often happen annually or semi-annually and they come chock-full of tough questions. But dreading a review cycle is in nobody’s interest and it most definitely should not be overwhelming your employees. As for doing them once or twice a year, we often forget what we even had for lunch just yesterday. Imagine remembering what we wanted to work on half a year ago!

The traditional approach is generally unfavored and seen as having little value as shown by a report in the Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology:

  • 95% of managers are dissatisfied with their performance management systems.
  • 59% of employees feel reviews are not worth the time invested.
  • 56% of employees said they do not receive feedback on what to improve.

Feedback To Move Forward

Reviews have a bigger impact when they’re relevant to what employees are working on daily. Having short sessions frequently in between the structured, formal ones can make the experience more friendly and open, allowing both parties to communicate more openly. Performance reviews based on a philosophy of continuous feedback are more likely to be future-focused and geared towards promoting growth and development.

Performance reviews can boost employee engagement and help create a culture of feedback and ongoing development at your workplace. They give everyone the chance to understand the company’s vision and goals and how their work fits into the bigger picture. It contributes to better all-around communication in the workplace and can encourage employees not only to feel more satisfied in their work but to achieve beyond expectations.

Treating each of your team members as an individual and working together towards their full potential will strengthen your team and organization. Great review conversations help you nurture your team member’s performance, development, and your relationship. Feedback should be seen as an investment into an employee rather than merely a tool that determines their pay, performance or promotion.