There was a time when employees and employers had to sit down every year and carry out the time-consuming and often pointless annual performance review; now, there is a better way, as discovered by titans of the corporate world such as Deloitte, GE, Goldman Sachs and Adobe.
Instead of one dreaded review that is quickly forgotten, continuous assessment aims to foster an office environment in which discussion and feedback on tasks is a daily occurrence in real time.
Employees get immediate feedback they can use to become more productive, and there are a range of other benefits.
For a start, staff will always know how they are performing, which makes improvements a lot easier. How can staff do things better if they do not know what they are doing wrong?
Firm and fair guidance that is given continuously will help bot the employees and the company to achieve more. In sport, teams receive constant appraisal and guidance from their coach to help them improve their performance.
The staff in your office are also a team, and waiting for one occasion to give feedback that is probably irrelevant by the time it is delivered is not going assist continual improvement.
As very few people can remember everything that happened over an entire year, recent activities are going to take up a greater proportion of the review, which could possibly influence the overall rating of the staff member.
The annual review can also come across as rather negative and overwhelming if all the errors and fumbles of an entire year are piled onto an employee at once. This can lead to lack of motivation and reduce productivity.
With continuous assessment of performance, errors are corrected as they occur with a view to introducing small adjustments for making the most of opportunities in the future. Instead of thinking of the performance review as one discussion per year, consider it as an open-ended conversation that takes place daily or even several times a day.
Annual reviews also mean a lot of administration and paperwork; in fact, sometimes this becomes the focus of the assessment rather than how the employee performed. This admin burden is largely eliminated with continuous performance management.
Shortages of skills can hold back any company. With continuous assessment, managers have ongoing opportunities to identify where skills are lacking and immediately act to correct this.
Most companies also have mission statements and corporate values. With continuous performance review, staff can learn that these values are meaningful and are more than just some lofty statements on plaques or posters around the office. Help your employees to demonstrate important values in their work every day.
Just one large company can spend millions of pound every year on carrying out traditional staff performance assessment. This is a large investment to make in a programme where the results can be negligible, misleading, and even have a negative effect on employee engagement.
Companies that have switched to ongoing performance review report huge increases in staff engagement, up to 30 per cent less staff turnover, and a boost in output. Continuous performance management is an effective, low-cost way of increasing team spirit and productivity.
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