5 things your employees want from performance reviews

According to research, 95% of employees are dissatisfied with their company’s appraisal process. In addition to this, 90% don’t believe the process provides accurate information.

The words ‘performance review’ or ‘assessment’ can suffice to ruin your day. Many dread the process and just feel the entire event demoralises them. Performance reviews, though, can reap many benefits when done correctly such as preventing miscommunication and keeping everyone invested.

Managers have been trying for many years to address the almost impossible task of rehabilitating the process. With almost 70% of companies now rethinking their methods for performance reviews, it is clear that corporations are already starting to take meaningful action.

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For companies to make changes effectively, they have to understand what employees are really wanting out of the process. Here are the top five things we found most important:

Clear Expectations

If employees do not know what is expected of them, it can be a challenge for them to perform to their best and stay motivated. While you might think this is obvious, a recent Gallup worldwide survey revealed that experts have said unclear expectations are one of the main contributors to the loathing of performance reviews.

Furthermore, many businesses are only using annual appraisals to set expectations. The problem with this is that we often forget what has been said as it was such a long time ago, resulting in them being meaninglessly and time-wasting. Goals should be adapted continually throughout the year in order to remain relevant and helpful. Managers can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals with their team members to help with this, alongside smaller milestones regularly throughout the year. Therefore, all parties concerned have clarity of where they are and where they should be heading.

Corrective Feedback

“Feedback is the broccoli of conversations. It’s not very appetising and we’d prefer something else if possible, but deep down we know that ultimately it’s good for us” said Marc Effron, publisher of Talent Quarterly.

Not only can feedback be difficult to give but it can also be uncomfortable; research has shown 67% of feel uncomfortable communicating with staff. One way that some managers try to cover up this discomfort they feel is by giving an uneasy amount of praise. Employees do not want or enjoy this. According to Harvard Business Review, 57% of employees prefer continuous feedback to praise, and a full 72% believe their performance would improve if their manager gave them more corrective feedback.

The more managers practise giving feedback, the more natural it becomes – it’s like riding a bike. If you avoid it, both individuals involved and the rest of the team will suffer more harm than good.

More Feedback

Millennials now make up the largest segment of the workforce. This segment is only going to grow over the next few years and into the future. It is estimated that millennials will make up around 75% of the workforce by 2025.

Individuals in the millennial generation have long-since been known for their demanding feedback needs. Without it, it is said by expects that they are unable to reach their full potential. Gallup highlighted this when a survey found that millennials are significantly more engaged when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. Industry giants like Adobe and Deloitte took note of the millennial workforce needs and scrapped the annual review model in favour of continuous, real-time feedback.

By giving only annual feedback, you risk only feeding back on what you can remember, rather than what matters. Regular feedback helps build relationships between managers and team members, so that the goals, work style, and motivations of each individual are clearly understood over time.

Performance Insights

In order for staff to remain loyal and engaged, managers have to find ways in which employees can evaluate, monitor and feel good about their success. Fortunately, modern technology is helping managers achieve this. For example, managers can give their teams access to personal development data with the right tools, so they don’t have to wait for insight check-ins.

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft’s 365 Enterprise integrate the simple and popular productivity apps needed to get the job done, as well as include a number of additional apps across the edge. For example ‘MyAnalytics’ is a feature within both these products which assists businesses and their employees in becoming more efficient and productive by looking at where their time is spent. Some elements you will have access to with MyAnalytics include:

  • A personal dashboard outlining how you spend your time in Office 365, productivity insights, suggestions for improvement and helpful information about the top collaborators in your network on a personal dashboard.
  • A weekly email that highlights your previous workweek.
  • Materials for individuals and teams to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
  • Nudges in Outlook to help you sustain and develop healthier work habits.

Timely Recognition

Appreciation is a basic human necessity. When you put your everything into a job, knowing it’s valued feels good; 78% of employees say they would work harder if their efforts were recognised and appreciated more often.

The longer managers take to recognise the good work of an employee, the more likely it will be perceived as less genuine. Therefore, while it is important to give recognition, it must be opportune.

It is worth asking the workers what kind of recognition is most important for them. You may be shocked to learn how many basic, small movements are inspiring them to do their best work!

Businesses cannot progress forward if they are using the same tired and outdated technologies of the past. Additionally, while it is not a case of one size doesn’t fit all with performance reviews, it will be beneficial to take the time to make minor changes to the process. You might find it does wonders for the morale of employees as well as the business as a whole!  taking the time to make some minor changes will do wonders not just for the morale of the employee but for the business as a whole.

If you would like to find out more about Microsoft 365 and how the tools within it can help with your performance review process, please get in touch.