Most employees look forward to the annual performance review the way they look forward to a root canal.
Feelings range from anxiety and angst to annoyance and anger.
If you add the antiquated practice of forced ranking, the result is more people who are disillusioned, disconnected and demoralized than before you started.
Don’t get me wrong, the philosophy behind performance reviews is noble: By giving employees constructive feedback about their work, you encourage individual peak performance and build more effective teams.
The way that we go about giving performance feedback is where we can make improvements.
Deloitte, GE and Accenture are among organisations that recently overhauled their performance management programs. Some choose to remove annual reviews completely, while others complement annual reviews with real-time feedback so the once-per-year meetings are more effective.
Here are five key benefits of real-time feedback.
1. Promotes Ongoing Learning
Real-time feedback creates opportunities for learning and improvement. A culture of feedback allows managers to recognise top performers and provide course correction early. This way, employees get immediate feedback and can improve more quickly. It’s a lightweight format of learning and development that fits into their existing work flow.
2. Removes Recency Bias
Real-time feedback helps limit recency bias during employee evaluations because it tracks employee accomplishments throughout the year. By celebrating and saving wins in the moment, they are less likely to be forgotten many months later.
A failed project that takes place immediately before the review cycle also should not detract from an employee’s overall performance. Collecting data throughout the year ensures managers are evaluating the employee in context.
3. Increases Utility of Competencies
Role-based competencies or company values can be affirmed through real-time feedback. A company may identify risk-taking, teamwork, leadership or integrity as values to emphasise in the organisation.
Real-time feedback enables peers and managers to recognise those attributes in employees. These softer skills are often forgotten alongside technical expertise but an effective workforce requires development of individuals as team members and leaders.
4. Drives Goal Progress
For companies that use KPI’s or real time metrics, real-time feedback helps support engagement. Recognition from peers or managers serves as a reminder of individual goals. Constructive feedback helps employees stay on track with the goals they’ve agreed upon with their manager.
5. Shifts Focus of Performance Reviews
Feedback does more to improve performance than costly reviews — but the transition is not always easy. Many companies do reviews with real-time feedback, or monthly check-ins with real-time feedback. With ongoing feedback collected throughout the year, reviews are less susceptible to recency bias. Using real-time feedback enables each of theses methods to benefit from reliable data.
Employees know what to expect at review time because they’ve been getting consistent feedback from their manager, so there are no surprises or anxiety. Because feedback is spread throughout the year, less time is wasted on reviews.
Source: Fankhauser, D. 20 June, 2018 5 Key Benefits of Real-Time Performance Feedback [Blog Post], Retrieved From https://www.reflektive.com/blog/real-time-performance-feedback/