As the end of financial year approaches, so does the looming task for employers to conduct the end of year employee performance management process. It is not an unexpected occurrence, we ALL know that it is coming and yet every year the task seems as demanding and time consuming as the last.
Employer’s often see this time of year as an opportunity to assess employee performance against set role expectations and to identify and address any poor performance. Although this approach is necessary, it is advisable that greater focus is made to discuss employee role satisfaction and to identify any goals or upskilling to increase this. Unfortunately, top performers often feel unheard or underappreciated in direct response to end of year performance management reviews, resulting in silent resignations. The silent resignation occurs when an employee resigns only to pursue the same role with another Company offering increased career progression, opportunities and rewards.
5 Steps that make the Performance Management Process Easier:
Employers can gather feedback of employee efforts throughout the year by:
- Compiling constructive and positive feedback efforts in response to employee projects and reports. This remains the easiest and most efficient way to collect data for analysis; and
- Setting informal and bi-annual feedback meetings that focus upon overall role efforts and goals, making reflective notes in response to collaborative comments, performance level and set expectations.
Despite the approach taken, ongoing feedback efforts make the performance management process easier, evidencing employee progress and providing a reference point for evaluation and recommendations. Best of all, efforts collated over time reduce the likelihood of employers and supervisors (you), wasting valuable time looking through past projects and correspondence to determine employee progress and productivity.
Be Aware of Bias
Where possible make collaborative efforts within the performance management process to reduce the likelihood of bias. This can be achieved by encouraging employee self-reflection, peer and supervisor review, and by evidencing any ongoing feedback with employee work examples.
A solid practice for avoiding bias is to conduct ongoing feedback throughout the year. This practice allows you to walk away from previous notes and to then review and reflect upon them at a later date, allowing for easy identification of your own bias. We are often too close to notice the occurrence of bias and for this reason, we highly recommend the hiring of a third party to assist with reviews.
The AHR Team assist many businesses to navigate the employee performance management review process, often acting as a third-party, collating accurate performance data and analysis without bias. If you are looking ahead at the end of financial year and feel that you may need assistance or advice surrounding the navigation or management of reviews, then we urge you to call us on 1800 577 515 for a free consultation.
Review your current performance management evaluation systems. Try to avoid ‘evaluating’ the performance of employees with a letter or adjective, as the use of words can have negative connotations such as, unacceptable and incapable. Not only is it demotivating to employees, but it also comes across as critical and lowers the morale of staff opposed to propelling them forwards with constructive and positive guidance. We advise a focus upon a numeric evaluation system with the opportunity to compare self and supervisor efforts, using the gap between these values as a basis to initiate constructive performance conversations. For example, an employee awards a self-evaluation of a 3 and the employer awards an evaluation of 7, identifying and initiating conversations of how the employee under values their own contributions and efforts. This evaluation system can be an incredibly useful tool if used correctly, promoting collaborative development of appropriate and effective strategies for employee improvement.
Expectations and Goals
Within evaluations and proceeding feedback, consider ‘how’ an employee can increase their confidence or capacity within expected role and associated tasks. Acknowledging and setting employee development goals will increase engagement and role performance, as it intrinsically motivates them.
The take home message from this article, is to acknowledge that reviews should be used as a tool for supporting employees to reach their full potential within your business. In providing your employees the opportunity to grow alongside your business, you increase employee satisfaction and retention rates, sparing yourself the loss of some of your most productive and promising employees and reducing your overall HR expenses!