A growing number of businesses are following the lead of global brands. such as Google, Accenture and Deloitte, by abandoning the performance review in favour of more regular feedback. Problems arise when HR ceases to have contact of any kind with its staff, which is the very real experience of UK workers.
Less than half of all employees had any involvement with HR representatives within the last 12 months, according to YouGov. If your business is ditching the annual performance review - or has yet to implement a strategy of any type – the gap it leaves must be filled with a system that works.
The following steps will help to address the gap left by companies that abandon the performance review or fail to implement a performance management strategy:-
Carry out regular check-ins : Follow the example of Adobe which cut voluntary turnover levels by 30% after ditching performance reviews in favour of a ‘check-in’ programme. Set up regular meetings to coach your people, provide assistance with performance improvement and offer advice and guidance on their ongoing career development and growth. This type of feedback is more relevant to employees than an annual appraisal.
Don’t block your talent : The CIPD’s new report, Employee Outlook : Focus on Skills and Careers, found that a third of workers claim their career progress doesn’t meet their expectations. Part of the responsibility lies with poor careers advice but, once in their new job, employees are met with a working environment that fails to motivate or inspire them. Career progression is frequently blocked by line managers (a factor for nearly 40% of employees), poor training programmes and negative office politics. Disaffected employees will find another employer or underperform in their job and are more likely to be absent from work. Without regular check-ins, office morale and productivity will continue to decline.
Check-in on Day One : By analysing its people analytics, Google found that employees who are greeted on their first day are up to 15% more productive 9 months later. Sometimes it really can be that simple – but should HR need data to confirm that? The evidence will be apparent in low morale and employee performance. For all businesses, a check-in on Day One is a vital part of onboarding.
Create an employee experience : Deloitte’s Global Capital Trends survey emphasises the importance of ‘design thinking’ which places the employee experience at the centre of workforce management. According to the survey, ‘companies where HR delivers the highest levels of value are almost five times more likely to be using design thinking in their programs than their peers.’ Deloitte was among the first businesses to abandon the performance review in favour of a straightforward system which asks just four questions to evaluate staff.
Be consistent : Tell your employees how you intend to replace the performance review and deliver on your promises. Building trust and integrity is essential to create a talent acquisition and retention strategy that works. Where communication has slipped, this is your opportunity to change, but don’t be under any illusions. Mistrust and apathy among your employees will take time and persistence to overcome. This process isn’t about ticking boxes but ensuring ongoing engagement and open, two-way communication between HR and your employees. For optimum results, monitor outcome rather than activity.
Be prepared for flexible working : By 2020, flexible working will be the main way in which 70% of businesses operate, according to a new report. Remote working has been proven to increase a company’s ability to attract and retain talent, leading to improved productivity and happier staff. It does, however, require close monitoring to ensure engagement. The CIPD emphasises the need to provide flexible and part-time workers with the same access to development and skills training as office based or permanent employees. Performance management will be the key to motivating your flexible workforce.
Don’t shrink back from HR analytics : As the example from Google demonstrates, to be effective, performance management depends on HR analytics which must support your entire talent management strategy. It all begins with your hiring process. The cost of a bad hire is measured not just in financial terms but in its effect on your team morale and individual performance.
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