End of Year Reviews: Is Your Evaluation Process a Waste of Time?

Posted December 30, 2013

You want to keep a finger on the pulse of your workforce and make sure it’s in good shape so your company can reach its goals. You have evaluation processes in place, and you even have a retention and engagement program.  But are they really doing you any good?

Mercer’s Global Performance Management, a consulting firm, conducted a survey that found while most companies have at least a performance management system in place, most of them don’t really work. When Mercer set out to find out why, they asked employees to rate their employers on how they did their evaluations. Here are the shockingly low numbers:

  • 14% hold formal performance evaluation discussions with employees
  • 8% set smart goals
  • 6% link individual performance to actionable development planning
  • 6% have candid dialogue with direct reports about their performance

Why are the results so terrible?

First, very few managers or supervisors are actually trained in how to give performance reviews. Second, almost nobody likes giving them—they’ve gotten a reputation for being a time to share negative feedback, and nobody likes giving or receiving that.

Instead of focusing your year-end employee reviews on the negative, and having it be a one-sided conversation where as the manager you are the bearer of bad tidings, make it a two-way street. Let the focus be on results—for both of you. As a boss, you should be held at least partially accountable for the success of your subordinates, so if there are any problems, try to work them out together.

Second, instead of the year-end performance review being the first or only time an employee hears about potential problems or issues, give regular evaluations and feedback throughout the year.  Give your employees time—and incentive—for improvement.

Then the year-end review can be focused on setting goals for the upcoming months. Each goal should include specific expectations regarding what is to be achieved and how, and a timeline should be laid out for input and review between manager and team member.

Don’t just sit there with a form or a checklist. Make the review an open-ended conversation, and focus on issues, not on people.

At Team Ambassador, we always focus on people—finding the best people for your open positions. And with our years of experience, we can tell you that open communication and a continued focus on performance is vital in driving the success of any business. If you’re lacking the right people in your organization to help you move forward, give us a call! If you are looking for local temp agencies, contact us today.