Why We Need Annual Reviews

Today there are a number of people and some companies that are either questioning the need for annual reviews or even doing away with them completely. And some of those companies make a strong argument for why they did so, yet in explaining why and how they made this happen, walk right into what I feel is and always should be part of the review process. The bottom line for me is that I still believe there is a need and a value for the “end of the year review” with each employee. But I also strongly feel that these become exercises that can cause more harm than good if not done properly, thoughtfully, on time and that also fits into a bigger picture of feedback throughout the year. It needs to answer the question “What’s the plan for me, the business and our goals”.
–    It creates the opportunity to align goals and objectives of the company and the employee.
–    They can provide a sound foundation for development, promotion and succession planning.
–    Holding these can actually help employees be more clear on their strengths, opportunities for improvement and what the organizations expectations of them are for the new year.
–    Annual reviews can help to plan a more customized training & development program, by individual.
–    It forces you to have conversations that may not have happened during the past year. These can help eliminate confusion or gray areas, as well as reinforce the key objectives of the organization as a whole.
–    When done properly and regularly, they can actually help reduce workplace discontent.
–   These meetings can actually help in developing better interpersonal relationships and in turn enhance team building.
–   This type of performance management conversation can be a huge aid in more fair and equitable wage & salary administration.
–   It creates another form of control and planning for both the employee and the boss(and company). CLEAR goals and objectives mean a better plan for all!
–   Lastly, it almost forces the manager and employee to communicate more honestly and specifically on topics both good and not so good sometimes. COMMUNICATION that should happen has to happen at these meetings.
So, if you truly want to increase your chances of making these types of conversations fruitful, keep a few things in mind.
#1 – Commit to a simple, short template/rating system that is easy to both apply but also explain to the employee as they are reviewed.
#2 – DO THESE ON TIME. If you choose to conduct them on anniversary dates, keep them in a calendar with reminders hitting your inbox two weeks(or more) in advance of that date. This gets you thinking and preparing ahead of time, not throwing it together just to do it at the last minute. Or worse yet, not at all!
#3 – Give the employee a chance to provide their feedback and point of view, with that information coming back to you the manager prior to actually conducting the review.
#4 – Make your feedback time bound, measurable and as objective and clear as possible.
#5 – Ensure that these annual review sessions are short and crisp. Forty-five minutes to conduct these meetings should be perfect if done properly.
For more help on this just e-mail or call me and ask about a new training module I have created entitled C.A.A.R. Yep, Conducting Awesome Annual Reviews is possible with a little help, planning and preparation.