Performance reviews are a crucial part of any business. They provide feedback to employees and help the organization identify areas for improvement. Performance reviews are essential to ensure that the organization remains productive, motivated, and organized while also giving personnel a clear understanding about the expectations from their role in the company. However, the question is – is the traditional performance review cycle frequency of once a year sufficient?
Things have changed drastically for the information technology industry. The markets in which we operate evolve at a pace that is not so traditional. And it only makes sense to say that the goals, timelines, and expectations cannot be determined a year in advance. What feels like a good target today may become obsolete in a quarter from now. Consequently, bringing in agility in the performance management approach is imperative.
Add to the mix the variables such as remote working, GenZ and you have got a perfect recipe for disaster if your processes do not embrace agility. Thus, organizations must constantly reinvent and innovate to ensure business continuity due to market dynamics, fierce competition, and agile business conditions. That is why more and more companies are moving to shorter and more frequent performance review cycles and adopting a continuous performance review culture. Here we will discuss the five salient benefits of more frequent performance review cycles.
The benefits of frequent performance reviews
Organizations need to be able to track their employees’ progress more closely and provide feedback more frequently. According to an EY survey, 97% of GenZ is open to receiving feedback, with 67% preferring it to be timely and constructively throughout the year. Frequent performance reviews can help managers identify areas of improvement and address issues before they become more significant problems.
1. Identify, track, and maintain goals
By reviewing employees’ performance more frequently e.g. quarterly, you’ll be able to keep track of their progress on assigned goals. You will be able to mobilize additional resources if necessary to help them achieve their goals or just pat them on their back for keeping things on track. If a goal has become redundant or obsolete, you can easily abandon it keeping in mind the larger scheme of things. This will help you provide direction to employees & motivate them. As the company grows, updating and revising these goals becomes more & more important. Short and frequent performance review cycles allow the company to do this effectively.
2. Prevent miscommunication
Lack of communication & miscommunication are two of the biggest challenges in any organization. Remember, there is no such thing as over-communication. Thus, it is wise to not miss an opportunity to communicate with your people. Frequent performance discussions afford you this opportunity. To ensure it is a two-way communication, managers must make a conscious effort to ensure that all employees feel heard and appreciated. And at the same time employees should hear, without ambiguity, what is expected of them, whether they are on the right track and more. A missed deadline or shoddily executed project should be taken up for a transparent discussion to identify the flaws in your processes.
Frequent reviews allow both managers and employees to express positive and constructive feedback. This helps to strengthen relationships and minimize miscommunication.
3. Keep everyone engaged
The ongoing nature of conversations entailed in the frequent performance review cycles will inherently keep everyone on their toes. This helps keep people engaged & married to your company’s execution plan. Knowing that the areas of improvement identified today will be reviewed in just a quarter, employees will stop procrastinating. If you have other checks & balances in place, everyone will proactively participate in these performance review discussions to make progress in their own careers as well as to influence the team & org level goals positively.
4. Take the pressure off year-end performance reviews
One of the biggest problems with a once-a-year performance review is its negative impact on employees. Employees become anxious about this event for several months leading up to the review. They’re constantly worried about whether or not they’ll get a promotion and if their supervisor likes them. Employees may feel frustrated that their performance is judged primarily on their final review and that it determines whether or not they get rewarded or promoted. This negative stress impacts their work environment and the company as a whole.
Doing more frequent reviews will gradually turn it into a routine exercise & remove the mental block associated with annual reviews. Employees will be evaluated for their progress throughout the year, so the final review is more of a summation than a surprise.
5. Get insight into how you can be a better manager
When you conduct more frequent reviews, you have more opportunities to learn how to be a better manager. You can experiment with different leadership styles. Get feedback from your team on what you are doing well and what could be better. This will help you develop into the leader you want to be, and your employees want you to be.
Managers should create an open dialogue with their team to ensure alignment and understanding of the goals. Performance management solutions can facilitate this dialogue, enabling managers to provide feedback to their team members in an effective and time-efficient way. Performance conversations do not have to be intimidating or uncomfortable; effective performance management solutions enable managers to communicate expectations and support the team’s continual growth.
More frequent performance review cycles can benefit both employers and employees. By increasing communication between the two parties and increasing transparency within the organization, both sides can benefit from improved performance and increased job satisfaction. Additionally, by encouraging employees to take ownership of their performance, companies can reduce turnover and gain a competitive edge in the market. Ultimately, it pays to stay up-to-date with your reviews as often as possible – whether every two weeks or every two months.
If you are a software develoment team using Jira, then UpRaise’s performance management solution makes it easy for companies to extract high performance through frequent performance reviews and feedback.