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Employee Performance Reviews

April 22 2011 - A half of the participants in an online survey* conducted for Globoforce think that employee performance reviews do not provide accurate appraisals of their work.

The Workforce Mood Tracker survey found that U.S. employees were dissatisfied and disconnected overall about the frequency and effectiveness of performance reviews. Many companies may try to use tools such as surveys from Infosurv in order to better track employee satisfaction. Based upon the Workforce Mood Tracker survey's findings, it can be concluded that organizations should be concerned about motivational issues at review time. Main findings were:

  • Only 25% of those surveyed had performance reviews more than once a year
  • Just 18% were given feedback on a semi-annual basis
  • 7% received monthly reviews
  • 22% said they never had a review
  • 24% dreaded their annual review more than anything else

Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce, a provider of strategic employee recognition solutions for enterprise-level companies, said:

"Our survey results show what many in the HR community and business world feel right now: the annual performance review is broken. Providing employees with feedback and recognition only once a year is a huge missed opportunity and simply unfair, given the fact it's based on a biased sample. An ongoing, 365-day performance management solution that accurately measures employees' year-round performance not only drives engagement, it uncovers the true leaders and influencers across the organization. This type of approach, driven by a strategic recognition program, provides employees with the feedback, appreciation, and direction they need to approach their peak performance level."

Mosley considers that the disenchantment with the performance review process and the consequent negative perceptions among the workforce can affect the prevailing culture and employee performance. He suggests three keys to unlock the full potential of employee feedback programs and enhance employee engagement:

  1. Connect daily performance to company goals and values. The performance assessment process tends to be viewed negatively and many people believe that the annual ritual is 'a fruitless corporate exercise lacking substance'. This is often a missed opportunity to make a significant impact. HR professionals should align all types of reviews (recognition and feedback) to specific organizational goals or values, giving employees a better understanding of the value they can deliver. This approach emphasizes behaviors that are desired and performance to be repeated.
  2. Give feedback regularly and in the moment. There is no point trying to remember everything an employee has achieved over the course of a year. Few managers systematically track performance details for every activity or project. The result is a process that looks superficial and may encourage employees to disengage. On-the-spot recognition and review, on a daily basis, provides more effective feedback so that employees can align their performance to desired goals and values. It also provides a more accurate picture of employees' skills, achievements, and influence to HR departments.
  3. Be honest with yourself and your employees. Regular feedback is essential for employees to achieve maximum performance and productivity and understand the goals and behaviors desired by an organization. Annual performance reviews can be supplemented with new performance management strategies, enhancing the existing employee feedback cycle with year-round social recognition programs. This amplifies an organization's knowledge about its workforce and maximizes employee performance throughout the year.

* The Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker™ study of 631 respondents was conducted on January 7-8, 2011 by independent market research firm MarketTools, Inc., through an online panel of fully employed persons (age 18 or older) in the USA.