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Are performance reviews worth it?

Monday November 30, 2015 Written by  Retain Canada
The performance appraisal is getting mixed reviews from Canadian workers.

According to new research from OfficeTeam, more than half of human resource managers (65 per cent) schedule performance appraisal meetings at least annually, even though two in five employees (41 per cent) feel the assessments do not help improve their performance. This contrasts with 95 per cent of HR managers who believe their organization’s performance appraisal process is as least somewhat effective.

The survey also revealed that 39 per cent of companies hold reviews at least twice a year – a 19-point jump since a similar survey was conducted in 2010.

One-third of organizations (33 per cent) schedule performance reviews on an as needed basis.

“All performance appraisals are not created equal. Companies need to determine the format and frequency of these assessments that works best for their employees,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Aside form formal reviews, regularly checking in with staff and providing feedback throughout the year can keep everyone on the same page.”

Hosking added, “Love them or hate them, performance discussions can be an effective tool, as long as both managers and workers properly prepare.”

The survey was conducted among 310 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 430 Canadian workers 18 and older who are employed in office environments.

Five tips for conducting performance appraisals
  1. Get a head start. Check in with your HR representative regarding forms and guidelines for the meeting. Take time to reflect on employee achievements and whether expectations were met.
  2. Have others weigh in. Seek feedback from colleagues who regularly work with the staff member to receive the full picture. You may uncover new insights.
  3. Encourage active participation. Let workers know what to expect from the performance appraisal and how they can prepare in advance. Ask employees to compile a list of accomplishments, obstacles and goals for the discussion. Remember: it’s a two-way conversation.
  4. Choose your words carefully. When critiquing worker performance give specific constructive feedback as well as suggestions for improvement. Also acknowledge the employee’s recent successes.
  5. Focus on the future. Reach an agreement on objectives for the coming period and regular checkpoints for assessing progress. Discuss any resources or support the worker needs.

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