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Consensus is nearly impossible in any organization, but when it comes to the employee review process, your leadership, management and employees will likely all agree: Nobody enjoys that time of year. Managers have to cram 12 months’ worth of feedback for their entire team into a week’s worth of meetings, and employees spend weeks dreading their eventual time in the hot seat. Traditional reviews are painful, to be sure, but they are also ineffective. They can demotivate a team and impede productivity. This is why many organizations are overhauling their review process to something that is far less painful and far more effective.

Rethink Annual Reviews

Annual reviews are ineffective for a number of reasons. First and foremost, feedback that is delivered months after an event is meaningless and nearly impossible to act on. Secondly, these reviews are typically tied to salary, and employees have a tendency to breeze through the review, retaining little information as they anticipate whether or not they will receive a raise.

Formal reviews should be offered quarterly, with monthly check-ins to offer ongoing feedback, document progress, and provide reinforcement. This helps employees to stay on track and keeps them focused on their annual goals. Managers can address poor performance as soon as it crops up, and they can also reinforce strong performance in real-time. This keeps both managers and employees engaged in development and growth, and ensures feedback will actually empower employees to improve over time.

Eliminate Grades and Ratings

Most traditional reviews involve some form of grading or scoring of the employee. Those grades are given for a set of generic criteria that are difficult to tie back to an employee’s actual responsibilities, values and contributions.

Rather than rating or grading, conduct managerial and peer surveys of the team. This provides the employee with a more accurate picture of how they impact the group. “I always call on Steve when I need a project completed quickly,” is more impactful for both the employee and the organization than, “Steve rates 9/10 in efficiency.”

Make Salary Reviews Independent

Annual salary reviews can still be conducted, but they should be separated from the performance review process. The data collected throughout the year in an ongoing review process can be used to support the final outcome, but focus one meeting per year on just salary, to ease the strain on both managers and employees.

If your Atlanta-area company is looking to improve your recruiting, hiring and retention processes for engineering and technology positions, reach out to the expert recruiters at Selectek today. We can connect you with top talent who will add real value to your team.

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