Almost 91% of all businesses still conduct annual performance reviews, says research conducted by WorldatWork and Korn Ferry, even though big companies have announced new approaches to it. In 2015 Accenture and GE announced that they would be phasing out annual performance reviews and shifting to a culture where employees receive feedback from their supervisors, immediately following assignments.
There is an expected pattern for most performance reviews. Beginning with setting goals, followed by some amount of revising and reviewing to tune these goals into applicable ones. Once the goals are set, progress is monitored over a period of time and feedback is offered for improvement at various stages. While the process of measuring performance is not likely to change in the near future, the basic approach to performance reviews is in need of a thorough upgrade.
Well Begun is Half Done
There are standard pitfalls that any organization’s performance review must avoid. To better understand these, let’s take the example of fictitious employee John :
John has been hired to key in data. In a short span of two years, John is now the fastest data analyst on the floor. Then another two years passed and John continued his stellar performance. The only problem was that he was bored of doing the same thing for so many years. He couldn’t see a path to career growth and he didn’t have time to enroll in a skill-enhancement course, This is when things started to go downhill.
Feeling frustrated, John began to think that it was pointless to work any faster. As a result, his performance dipped and was noticed by his supervisor. The supervisor expected the high levels of performance to be sustained but John simply could not see the benefits of putting in the extra effort. In a few months, John and the organization part ways.
According to research published by the Center for American Progress, businesses spend nearly one-fifth of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. In the case of John, this cost could have been avoided if the organization had an agenda for employee development. At the same time, the employee also has to take responsibility for their own professional growth and constantly upgrade their skills.
John simply could not figure out that he was just doing the job he was told to do. What he was unable to do was add additional value to his role and, subsequently, ensure visibility for his contribution.
It’s one thing to key in data and another to be curious about where the data comes from, where it is used and how one can use that familiarity to build a better skill set or personal value proposition. With a little imagination and perhaps a little encouragement from leadership, John X could have enrolled into an online course and, in a few months, pitched for a higher position in the organization. I firmly believe that an organization has to foster growth and development if they want to keep their employees motivated and engaged.
Leveraging Technology for Better Engagement
Technology is all-pervasive and it’s up to organizations and employees to harness the potential offered by the latest technological advancements. According to a survey by Capterra, changing technology is among the three external factors that have the biggest impact on business goals.
Proper use of technology can ensure that your employees’ goals are in perfect alignment with the organizational goals.
Training is the answer. With the right kind of online training platform, organizations can ensure that employees are given the learning resources that are aligned with not just organization goals, but also with their own learning objectives, patterns, skill sets and career aspirations. An AI-based learning experience platform, such as KEA, can not only capture learner responses, but also use ratings to determine content usage and gather feedback to help improve content relevance and effectiveness. In addition, it generates insights from the dashboard to help managers make quantifiable decisions based on performance data collected throughout the year.
So, while an annual performance review might be far from dead, it needs to encompass more than just specific job-related training. With a learning experience platform (LXP) that personalizes the entire learning and development process, while keeping the learner engaged through an AI-based learning facilitator, such as KEA, employees get key opportunities to better their career paths. This is something that employees today value, even over monetary rewards sometimes. Therefore, this can be a key way to ensure employee engagement, loyalty and retention, while ensuring continuous learning and growth.
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