There’s an ongoing brouhaha over annual employee reviews.
- Are they useful?
- If not how can we change them?
- Who should conduct them?
- What sorta training is needed?
- Should we call them something else - give ‘em a new buzzword and presto they’re not an annual review?
Um. I got news for you. Performance reviews are happening every day, every hour. We all notice, appreciate or don't, the actions of those around us especially if our career, income, perks and status are in some way tied to them.
You'd have to be a zombie or clinically depressed to do otherwise. Oh, wait, we're talking about employee engagement or its lack, thereof.
Performance reviews should be happening every day, every hour, every opportunity. That’s when you recognize people for what they’ve done, how they’ve done it, why it mattered, how it helped the team/department/company, what it means for their career, etc.
Accountability, y’know the dark side of employee engagement and recognition, that whose name is rarely mentioned, happens then, too. That’s when the other employees will notice that you care enough about them to help that straggler, that non-performer or that one considered “actively disengaged” to make better decisions. They’ll appreciate you for doing that and taking that burden off their shoulder.
After all, all of this, is your job. To recognize and support, to celebrate, what you want to see more of, as Tom Peters is quoted.
The curious part is why managers are encouraged to wait a year and let wins go uncelebrated, problems left to fester.
If you can wait a year to recognize your employees - what they do, how they do it, what they need, why they need it and good or bad - you might as well not bother. I mean, seriously. Either they’ll be gone or it won’t matter to either one of you. And you'll both know and you'll both know this is a game, it means nothing but it does so let's play along. And companies are still wondering why employees are so cynical and distrusting.
Clearly, given the dismal state of employee engagement with companies using an annual review ... it, the annual review, is not working. So, rather than push that deck chair around your Titanic ... why not do the obvious and engage with those around you every day, every hour. Save the ship before it sinks. Because not doing so isn’t working no matter how hard you try to not see it.