The Demise of Annual Performance Appraisals?

Webanywhere performance appraisal alternatives

Annual performance appraisals are seen as mandatory by many organisations. The information logged is used to validate an employee’s dismissal or promotion, yet according to research carried out by Bersin by Deloitte, traditional performance reviews are seen as outdated and not fit for purpose by many large organisations such as Adobe and Juniper. What are the reasons behind this latest trend?

Why Annual Performance Appraisals Don’t Work

A lot happens in the course of a year and performance will most likely fluctuate. Waiting to tell a staff member why they did or didn’t do particularly well 11 months earlier makes no sense; that feedback needs to be communicated asap. Another point is that the way modern organisations work means it’s unlikely an employee will work under just one manager, necessitating an in-depth collaboration to provide an accurate appraisal. And sitting listening to a year’s worth of feedback is uncomfortable for the person being reviewed.

Better for Companies – Better for Employees

Organisations who set performance goals quarterly increase the positive performance outcomes by 31%; those who set and reset goals monthly do even better. Any staff member worth their salt will want regular feedback so they can set job goals. This will help motivate and raise confidence. Assigning a mentor to offer coaching is a proven way to increase performance and job satisfaction. Having regular evaluation from a mentor will help an employee see the potential to not only perform their current job to the best of their abilities, but to aspire to greater things.

Alternative Strategies

Promote a culture that is feedback-oriented. Provide online tools to make regular evaluations simple and convenient. This will also allow reports to be created, to better inform how an employee is performing at any given period. Most people will have an idea of their strengths and weaknesses, which is why self-assessment can be so useful. This also promotes a collaborative culture, rather than inciting resentment that can arise from a manager-led, negative appraisal. Another useful strategy is peer feedback, although it’s possible you could get subjective comments, depending on the relationship between reviewer and reviewee.

The ultimate aim of appraisals and feedback should be to help improve staff performance, which is why annual performance appraisals need to go.