In need of a fix: Performance reviews

Typically, no one likes doing them but few seem to know how fix the dreaded annual job performance review.

Towers Watson recently took a look at how employers are handling the review process these days, now that the economy has improved and finding good talent is becoming ever more difficult.

For years, we’ve known the annual review doesn’t cut it. It becomes a kind of check-that-box affair where the boss lays out the good, the bad and the ugly about the employee’s work, and the employee sits there patiently waiting to hear how much the raise will be.

Most folks don’t get as much feedback on the job as they want or need.

The best practices today, according to Towers Watson, are dumping annual performance reviews with more frequent “employee and manager interactions, applying a more future-oriented definition of performance and potential, and implementing new technology.”

That, the thinking goes, will keep both boss and worker more closely aligned on getting the job done right, and will build a better relationship in the process.

If there’s any question that the review process needs an overhaul, check out these results:

  • 63 percent of North American companies say their performance management programs are not effective;
  • 74 percent say their managers and employees are dissatisfied with the process;
  • 50 percent say workers and managers don’t spend enough time on performance management;
  • 29 percent are either planning to or are considering eliminating them.
  • 64 percent of respondents don’t believe their managers and supervisors have the necessary skills to conduct a decent performance evaluation.

Does all this mean the performance review as we know it is dead?

Not quite.

“Employers recognize the importance of these programs and that significant changes, not tweaks, are needed. That said, most employers believe scrapping performance management programs, including the use of performance ratings, is not the solution.”

With Apprentice Personnel, you can expect thoroughly screened employees to arrive on time for daily, weekly, monthly or longer-term assignments. 

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.