Performance Management Resources

A practical look at building and implementing your perfect performance management process.

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9/27/2022
Free Annual Employee Performance Review Template

The Annual employee performance review is a crucial tool for measuring and compensating employee performance.

Employees get to highlight their growth and contributions. Managers can partner with direct reports to examine opportunities for improvement. The executive board can get a great view of the overall success of the company going into the next year. 

Free Annual Employee Performance Review Template

Click here to download PDF

Annual reviews should be a culmination of a year-long process to create goals, track progress, and promote their completion. Nothing in an annual review should come as a surprise to the employee or their manager. 

There are several different methods for completing the annual review, such as the 360 review or the traditional manager/direct report review. Each model provides different strengths that your organization should examine to determine which is the best fit. 

Need software help to streamline your annual reviews?Learn More

Annual Reviews: Three reasons why you should use them…and two reasons you may want to reconsider.

Annual reviews are one of the best tools for gauging and compensating employee performance. But, putting too much weight on one review can lead to an imperfect picture of employee performance. It’s critical to achieve the right balance.

So why should you consider adopting annual performance reviews? 

Everyone sees the big picture 

Annual performance reviews examine an employee’s performance across an entire calendar year.

Employees can call out their wins and see how they progressed over the year. Managers can mention how an employee’s performance changed across the calendar year. This allows both parties to examine trends in performance, and understand why those trends occurred

Maybe an employee’s sales numbers suffered around May before picking up in July.

Was this common across the organization, or simply unique to this employee?

What was the employee working on while this slip occurred? 

Each goal that an employee sets can be examined with finality.

Did the employee meet the goal?

If not, where and why did they come up short?

Trends can be deduced. Perhaps an employee met 5 out of 6 very ambitious goals but came up just short on the last one. That is  different from an employee who only met 4 out of 6 goals, and barely made headway on her final two goals. 

This annual review gives a manager a strong understanding of how effective a direct report has been over an entire year. The manager can see how much the employee contributed to the company and if the employee is improving.

Employees can highlight all the accomplishments they’ve completed 

Annual reviews are a great opportunity for employees to say, “look at all I’ve done.”

Oftentimes, managers are stretched thin, and may not be aware of all of the great work each direct report has accomplished. An annual review allows employees to present all of their best “wins” to their managers, letting managers see how invaluable their work has been. 

When using quarterly or mid-year reviews, some large accomplishments aren’t  picked up on. This usually happens because they aren’t yet completed or haven’t yet shown their worth. The annual review is when these projects will have likely borne fruit. Employees should proudly showcase the results of their ingenuity and hard work. 

Your company gets actionable data

Using a Performance Management System like PerformYard gives you access to actionable data about the company, team, and individual performance.

  • See how an employee’s performance stacks up against their previous review cycles.
  • See how a team’s performance compares to its previous review cycles.
  • See how the entire company is performing relative to the goals your organization has set. 

This type of hard data is excellent for determining compensation and promotions, one of the key reasons why annual reviews are completed in the first place. 

See how PerformYard can help you run a more effective annual review process.Learn More

You’ve identified your top performers. Now you need to compensate them fairly.

Two reasons to reconsider annual reviews 

Annual reviews have some drawbacks that need to be understood before you move forward with a review structure. Annual reviews can put undue stress on one single meeting and are not as effective for recalibrating employee performance. But, when annual reviews are coupled with additional reviews throughout the year, these drawbacks can be mitigated. 

Annual reviews are high-stakes 

Annual reviews are a big deal. Most compensation and promotion decisions are based on an annual review. If it goes poorly for an employee, that can mean a significant difference in overall compensation. 

If your organization chooses to only do an annual review, you run the risk of breaking the cardinal rule of performance reviews: nothing should be a surprise. Employees should always go into any review understanding where they are exceeding and where they need to work harder. 

Annual reviews work best in union with check-ins, quarterly reviews, or mid-year reviews so that employees and managers have already identified pain points and taken ample steps to correct them. 

If these check-ins haven’t happened, and an employee is blindsided with a negative review, they may feel hurt and their performance may suffer even more. Plus, you have missed many opportunities to improve employee performance along the way.

If you had taken a little time to add in some extra reviews, your employee may have improved, your business may have increased, and everyone would have been happier come annual review time. 

Annual reviews are not great at recalibrating employee performance 

If you only use an annual review, you lose the ability to provide clear and actionable feedback on issues as they arise. If, for example, your employee botched a presentation in March, and they only get feedback about it in December, they’re going to have a hard time implementing that feedback into their next performance. 

Feedback is effective when it is timely. Annual reviews don’t allow you to be timely in your feedback. Instead, they focus on examining an employee’s overall performance over a year. 

This is why we recommend pairing annual reviews with quarterly reviews, mid-year reviews, or frequent check-ins. This allows managers to steer the development of their employees and ensure they put their best foot forward at the annual review. 

Goals of Yearly Appraisal Meetings

The goal of a yearly appraisal meeting, or annual performance review, is for the employee and organization to have a clear, actionable understanding of how an employee has performed and evolved over an entire year.

  • Did they achieve all of their goals?
  • Did they fix performance issues from a previous review cycle?
  • Have they brought significant benefits to the business?
  • How does their performance compare to that of their peers?

The answers to these questions will be found in an effective performance review. Once this data is gleaned, it will be used to make effective and transparent compensation decisions.

Jenny made 120% of her sales goal, so she gets X bonus. 

Seeing how an employee has taken on and accomplished more challenging goals can be invaluable for determining promotions. With PerformYard, you can look at an employee’s performance review relative to their previous years’ reviews, allowing you to see how they have evolved. It’s an excellent way to make informed and data-based promotion decisions. 

How to Structure an Employee Evaluation Meeting

Once you and your team have completed your evaluations, it is time to have the employee evaluation meeting. This is the time for face-to-face conversations about performance, accomplishments, and improvements. Structuring this interview is critical. You want to ensure that the conversation is productive and constructive, not condescending or demeaning. 

Start with their goals

Discussing goals first may seem counterintuitive, but it helps inform the discussion about performance. If your employee tells you at the beginning of the meeting, “I want to focus much more on client-facing components of my job," you can steer the conversation around their client-facing accomplishments. 

You can also explain your goals for your partnership with your direct hire and the greater team. Open yourself up a little, and show your employee how they can help you become a more effective manager for them. 

Talk about the successes 

It is often helpful to ask your employee to present what they see as their biggest successes. This will ensure that you do not overlook any of their accomplishments and will help reduce any anxiety about the performance review itself. 

Encourage your employee to explain how their achievements have positively impacted the company itself. This will help them see their strategic value, and give them insight into the overall performance review score and compensation decisions. 

After your employee has summarized their successes, take time to call out some other achievements they haven’t mentioned – particularly ones that you feel are important to the company. If your employee calls out an achievement that you don’t believe holds much strategic value, gently push back and explain how their efforts may be better suited to another project. 

Constructively examine areas for improvement

Ask your employee where they believe they have the most room for improvement. Having them start the conversation will reduce potential defensiveness, and position this discussion to be productive. As your employee raises their weak spots, take time to affirm or push back on their conclusions, and then ask them how they think they could improve. 

Again, having the employee lead this portion of the review will lead to better buy-in and less defensiveness

After your employee has offered their solutions, you should affirm they are good ideas and offer some solutions of your own. Explain how you believe that these actions will lead to them developing and improving – which will help them evolve and grow with the company. 

Finally, end by reaffirming the good work your employee has accomplished. Assure them that the two of you will work as a team to continue the good work next year. 

What type of annual review should I use?

Two types of annual reviews are typically used: the manager + direct report or the 360 review process. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. 

The manager + direct hire review is the most focused.

1. A direct hire fills out a self-evaluation

2. The manager completes an evaluation of the employee

3. The two have a face-to-face discussion where the direct hire’s performance is examined.

This review has the benefit of requiring only 2 reviews per employee, meaning that all reviews can be completed on time. 

The downside is that a manager gets limited feedback. They only have their evaluation and their employee’s self-evaluation to work with. There is no context provided by peers or other colleagues who work with their direct hire. 

The more full review, the 360 review, incorporates additional feedback from peers and others who work directly with the employee. This can provide additional context and help an employee see how they contribute to an organization. They can be difficult to execute, however, as they require employees to fill out multiple reviews, which can make the review process very time-consuming. 

PerformYard streamlines annual reviews, 360 reviews and check-ins.Learn More

How can I improve my annual review process? 

Annual performance reviews can be improved by using a dedicated performance management system like PerformYard. 

PerformYard streamlines the review process by centralizing all performance and review data. This data lives in a single sign-on platform that all employees can access. PerformYard lets HR create custom review forms, schedule the performance cycle, and automatically notify employees of outstanding tasks. Employees can see all of their remaining tasks (review completion and goal setting) in a user-friendly dashboard. 

No more complicated paper forms. No more redundant emails. No more chasing down stragglers. Automated, streamlined review cycles.

Curious to see how PerformYard can take your review cycle from cluttered to empowered? Reach out today to get a free PerformYard demo!

Take 20-minutes to see how PerformYard can make things easier for your HR department.Learn More

FAQs

Q: How do you write an annual performance review?

A: An annual performance review should cover the work the employee has accomplished or not completed; it should not be about their personality. An easy way to focus a performance review is to examine an employee’s goals. Were the goals met? Were they surpassed? Which goals were not achieved? 

Conversely, you can write an annual performance review around the organization’s values. Which tasks did the employee complete that embodied value X? Value Y? 

Q: How do I structure an annual performance review?

A: Employee reviews often excel when they are tied to performance, not personalities. We find that the best way to structure the review is through goal-setting. Goals should be set far in advance, achievable yet challenging, quantifiable, and trackable. 

An effective performance review should focus on if those goals were achieved. What did the employee and their manager set out to accomplish? Were those goals met? 

After goals have been examined, it is best to then examine the employee’s achievements, and then their areas for improvement. These three components will give a holistic view of the employee. 

Q: Should annual reviews be tied to compensation?

A: Most annual reviews are tied to compensation, as raises and salaries are only given out once a year. The annual review is a great tool to use to determine the correct compensation for each employee, as you can see their entire year’s worth of contribution to your organization.

Q: Where can I get an annual performance review template?

A: Right here! Here’s our free annual performance review template.

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9/26/2022
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4 Barriers to Performance Appraisal (And How to Overcome Them)

Getting over the barriers to performance appraisal processes can help you reduce turnover and improve employee performance. You know this, but it just seems that no matter what system you get into place, you can’t see consistent improvement in employee performance in the workplace. 

You’re not alone. Gartner data shows that only 14% of employees feel motivated to improve performance after a review. Boosting employee performance is critical, but making it happen isn’t always straightforward. 

The right performance appraisals can help get performance back on track. You need a performance appraisal system that is consistent, flexible, and educational. The right system can overcome common barriers that get in the way of a strong performance management system.

We have identified four common barriers to employee performance and performance reviews along with tips for how to overcome them in your workplace.

Many of these challenges can be overcome with a simple software solution.Learn More

4 Barriers to Performance Appraisal (And How to Overcome Them)

Break down these four barriers to improve your performance reviews and employee performance.

1. Inconsistent Processes

Inconsistent processes are not your friend. Your team won’t know what is expected of them, when they should anticipate feedback, or how much the feedback matters. 

Without a standardized process, managers may send feedback that doesn’t get recorded for performance reviews. The manager may be tempted to cut and paste feedback from previous performance review sessions. Inconsistent and inaccurate feedback hurts employees, as they don’t know which aspects of their performance need to change. 

This, in turn, makes HR’s job even harder. HR has to gather all of this inconsistent feedback, roping in reviews as they come in and sifting through off-hand manager comments. 

Inconsistency makes it difficult for HR and management to understand who is performing well and who needs more coaching. 

If inconsistency carries on for too long, it causes employee burnout. Employees cannot see how their work positively or negatively impacts an organization, and they will not be inclined to modify their performance. 

How to Overcome This Barrier:

You must standardize performance review processes so employees know what to expect. One way to standardzie the process is with performance management software that gets everyone on the same page. HR can use the software to feedback expectations and work diligently to ensure that managers are meeting those feedback requests. 

Employees should know when they’re getting feedback, and this feedback should be tracked and organized so it can be used in annual reviews. 

Once a standardized performance management system is in place, employees will gain clarity in their work, and this clarity will improve motivation. 

Want to see how a standardized processes can lead to a shift in company culture? See how Cline Cellars implemented standardized feedback through PerformYard to boost their employee performance.

A software-driven review process is an effective review processLearn More

2. Lack of Communication

When managers don’t communicate with employees, employees have to play a guessing game. 

Was my work acceptable? 

Am I doing an ok job? 

What am I supposed to be doing right now? 

Ineffective managers only start communicating when there is a problem. This often leads to employees dreading communication with their bosses – a situation that is ripe for employee turnover. 

How to Overcome This Barrier

With so many employees working remotely, it’s a little harder to simply roll over on a swivel chair to say hi. That doesn’t mean that communication needs to break down. Use Slack, Zoom, Teams, or performance feedback software to keep those lines of communication open.

PerformYard's continuous feedback feature, seen above, can help you deliver feedback and roll it into performance reviews.

Ditch the spreadsheets and switch to performance management software.Learn More

Managers and employees need to be partners. Consistent communication ensures that the company recognizes employees’ hard work, corrects suboptimal work, and both parties treat each other with respect.

3. Limited Motivation

Each employee is unique, and therefore each one has different needs for motivation and challenges. 

Great pay and benefits are wonderful forms of compensation for a job well done, but the motivation must go beyond a paycheck. 

How to Overcome This Barrier

Employees should be challenged and encouraged to grow and develop in the workplace. One of the best ways to help employees grow is through goal setting. Goal setting should encompass both goals that improve performance and goals that boost personal development. 

Goals also need to be dynamic, not static. If, for example, an employee had a goal to make 500 in a year, and made 600 sales in four months, the manager should update the goal to reflect that performance. 

That’s not to say the manager shouldn’t recognize and celebrate the employee meeting the; it absolutely should. But there needs to also be a new goal with a new incentive to help keep employees motivated, learning and growing.

4. Not Enough Feedback

Feedback – be it through formal reviews or weekly check-ins – needs to be consistent and frequent. Without frequent feedback, employees are flying blind. 

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a sales associate. You’ve been told to sell some software, and at the end of the year, your boss will tell you if you sold enough. Only there’s one problem: your boss never told you how much software you needed to sell. 

You’d be pretty anxious, right? Have you sold enough? Too little? Are you on track? 

That end-of-the-year review would be nerve-wracking. You’d have no idea how well you’d been working. This system also sets your boss up for failure. If you came up short, it’s because your boss never let you know how you were doing. 

How to Overcome This Barrier

Your boss can boost your performance and the company’s performance by providing consistent and frequent feedback to let you know how effectively you are meeting your goals. 

Feedback doesn’t need to overwhelm your organization. It shouldn’t function as a time suck. Here’s an excellent look at how a feedback structure can remain nimble while encouraging employee development. 

How to Overcome Performance Appraisal Challenges

Great performance management spurs great employee performance. Ineffective performance management can cause employee performance to take a nosedive, leading to high rates of turnover. 

By breaking down the four key barriers to performance appraisal processes, you can help employees feel valued and recognized, which will in turn help spur employee growth and development.  

It only takes 20 minutes to learn how Performyard can fix your performance review process.Learn More

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9/23/2022
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Employee Performance Review Form | Templates and Tips

Performance reviews have the potential to be a huge pain. Managers spend countless hours preparing for a traditional performance review. Yet more than half of office workers feel performance reviews have no impact on how they do their job.

But that’s just for traditional performance reviews.

Traditional annual reviews don’t work. Modern performance reviews are different.

Teams are over 12% more productive when managers provide feedback on their strengths. 83% of employees appreciate receiving feedback, whether it's positive or negative. Plus, businesses with highly engaged employees experience less turnover.

In short, effective, modern reviews take less time and are more effective than traditional reviews.

They are made even easier when you use the right performance review form.

Here’s what you need to know about creating effective performance review forms. We’re also sharing a few employee evaluation templates you can use to streamline your review process.

A simple software tool can streamline your performance review form process.Learn More

What is the Purpose of a Performance Review Form?

The simplest answer to this question is that performance review forms are meant to review employee performance. There is a lot more to it than that, however. Review forms need to be created with a certain purpose in mind for them to be effective.

Purposes you’ll want to choose from before creating a review form include:

  • Accountability: Employees are evaluated based on carefully developed standards
  • Development: Employees receive weekly one-on-ones, continuous feedback, and engagement surveys to support their ongoing development
  • Recognition: Reviews focus on previous performance to recognize employees for their hard work and accomplishments
  • Alignment: Goals are clearly articulated so employees know exactly what to do to achieve them
  • Reinforcing Values: Values and expectations become part of the conversation, ensuring employee performance is tied to a greater purpose

Don’t feel like you have to pick one purpose and stick with it. You might want to incorporate two or three purposes throughout the year. Or, you may realize your team is evolving and requires a performance review form with a different purpose.

Get clear about your purpose before choosing a review process or creating a new form. That way you get meaningful data from your reviews, and your employees feel like the review was worth their time. 

Five Tips for Creating Performance Review Forms

Once you have zeroed in on your purpose, you can begin to create a performance review form. Here are five tips that will make the process of creating your forms much easier:

  • Offer constructive feedback
  • Spend more time looking toward the future
  • Tie forms to goals
  • Include numeric answers for data analysis
  • Use software to streamline the process

Offer constructive feedback

Constructive feedback is all about providing an employee with suggestions based on their performance. Sometimes it’s positive. More often than not, constructive feedback means focusing on areas of improvement.

Giving constructive feedback can be hard because you don’t want your employees to shut down or feel attacked. The truth is, over 90 percent of respondents from one survey agreed with the statement, "Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.” 

It turns out employees aren’t scared of constructive feedback at all, as long as you’re careful about how it’s delivered!

So, what does it mean to deliver constructive feedback appropriately? Including the right information on an employee evaluation template can make it easier.

A few ideas include:

  • Ask employees to give themselves a rating on topics that relate to their position
  • Ask employees to share their areas of improvement
  • List constructive feedback before contributions and successes to end the review meeting on a high note
  • Management should share actionable advice the employee can follow that enables them to make improvements right away

Spend more time looking toward the future

Nearly half of the respondents of one survey said that receiving a performance review makes them feel like they can't do anything right. Over 20% have called in sick in the past because they were so anxious about receiving a review.

That’s not because reviews are inherently anxiety-producing. It’s usually because the review focuses on past mistakes. No one wants to dwell on all the things they’ve done wrong.

That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about areas of improvement. Just make sure you tie it to future behavior. It’s even better if you can talk about improvements from an employee-development point of view instead of behavior being a personal or professional failure. After all, nearly 90% of millennials say professional development and career growth are very important.

Include questions on the form that highlight the employee's work contributions towards the company's overall goals. Be sure to also talk about ways management can support employees in meeting their personal and professional goals. This will help keep the focus on future performance.

Tie forms to goals

Performance review forms should be used as more than just a way to gather information ahead of a performance review. When they are tied to goals, they can become an important reference for employees.

First, make sure at least some of the questions on the form address goals from previous reviews. That enables managers and employees to talk about goals that have been accomplished, goals that need to be adjusted, and goals that still need work.

Allow employees to come up with their own professional goals so they have ownership over the process and the outcome. Management should guide employees as they create new professional goals that follow the SMART system of being:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

PerformYard automatically brings goals and reviews into one dashboard.Learn More

Include numeric answers for data analysis

Open-ended questions are impossible to measure. By including numeric answers for at least some of the questions on your review form, there’s data you can measure and analyze. You can discover general trends in how your workforce is feeling and how they are performing so you can come up with an action plan for the future.

Having numeric answers can also make life easier for employees. It’s a lot simpler to list a number in response to a question instead of composing an answer. It’s also faster, which busy employees will appreciate.

This doesn’t mean open-ended questions shouldn’t be in a performance review form. Answers to open-ended questions allow employees to express themselves exactly how they want, and they can be an easy way to get the conversation started when you get together to conduct the review. It just means you should also offer numeric answers for at least some of the questions on the form.

Use software to streamline the process

Managers spend an average of 17 hours on performance reviews, per person. That’s usually because HR sticks with old, outdated ways of conducting performance reviews. Although it may seem like it will save time to do what you’re already used to doing, you could save a ton of time by using software to streamline the process.

PerformYard is designed to make the review process easy without compromising the quality of the information you’re gathering. Our software makes it easy to create custom forms, send those forms with a click of a button, track the completion of the forms, aggregate data from the forms, and more.

The right software can automate many of the tasks in the review process that would normally take hours. Software can free up your time so you can focus on using the information you gather to make your business—and the employee experience—even better.

Performance Review Form Templates

Ready to try a new performance review form? There's no need to reinvent the wheel! We have employee performance evaluation report samples you can download and use as-is, or you can use the template as a starting point and customize it to fit your needs.

  • Value-based performance review form
  • 90-day performance review form
  • Annual performance review form
  • 360 performance review form

Value-based performance review form (with template)

Value-based reviews use the company's core values as the framework for the questions on the review form.

It's a good option for companies that are crystal clear about their values and want to make sure employees understand and embody those values. It's a popular choice for management teams that want to improve company culture. It's also a good option if you want employees to focus on self-reflection, and you want reviews to be more conversational.

90-day performance review form (with template)

90-day reviews incorporate both a self-review and a manager review ahead of the employee-manager meeting.

They are an especially effective way to review new employees. By making a review part of the onboarding process, employees can ask questions and share feedback, while your management team can gather data that can improve the onboarding process for future employees.

Annual performance review form (with template)

An annual performance review form is completed once a year by both the employee and management before the review meeting.

Annual reviews are best used in conjunction with other types of reviews so employees and management don’t have to wait an entire year to discuss performance or concerns. However, annual reviews are a great way to get a big-picture look at the employee’s performance and come up with big goals for the employee to focus on in the year ahead.

360 performance review form (with template)

360 feedback involves getting feedback from the employee about their performance, as well as management, but it also includes getting broad feedback from peers and coworkers.

This type of review is great for employees who regularly work collaboratively on different teams. It can also provide a more accurate and holistic view of employee performance since multiple people provide feedback.

Find out why modern HR pros use PerformYard for better performance appraisals.Learn More

Choosing the Right Form

There is no right or wrong performance review form. It's all about choosing the one that works for management and your employees. It could mean modifying one of our templates to fit your needs or combining a few different types of reviews to get a clearer picture of employee performance.

It might also mean updating your existing review software or trying new software for the first time. Try PerformYard to customize a streamlined review system, complete with forms, for your team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a performance evaluation form?

A performance evaluation form is a document that highlight's an employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Its purpose is to encourage positive change in employee performance by clarifying expectations, setting goals, and providing both employees and management an opportunity for one-on-one discussion.

What should be included in a performance review form?

Effective performance evaluation forms include self-evaluation questions for employees and manager evaluation questions that can be completed ahead of the review meeting. Forms should include goals and input from peers and coworkers, as well as questions with numeric answers that can be measured and analyzed. 

What are the different types of employee evaluation forms?

Some of the different types of evaluation forms include:

  • Essay reviews with open-ended questions that require a written response
  • Numerical scale forms that ask respondents to use a scale of 1 to 10
  • Peer review forms that enable co-workers and managers to assess employee performance
  • Group evaluation forms that enable you to assess team performance
  • Self-evaluation forms that ask employees to evaluate their performance

Manager evaluations that enable management to rate employee performance

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9/14/2022
Why Annual Reviews Don’t Work in 2022

Annual performance reviews used to be the gold standard in the workplace, but the times are changing. More companies are realizing that annual performance reviews don’t work.

Companies with thousands of employees, like Apple and Google, have scrapped standalone annual performance reviews in favor of more frequent performance reviews. Other leading organizations are seeing how successful these high frequency performance reviews can be, and they’re giving up on the standalone annual review.

But why don’t annual reviews work, and how can you adjust the review cadence at your company?

Here are a few reasons why annual performance reviews don’t work, as well as a few ideas you can try instead.

Annual Reviews Don’t Account for Changes in Employee Preferences 

Not too long ago, employees with decent pay and health benefits were happy to have a job. It was common for workers to stay with the same company for decades.

That’s not the case anymore. Employees expect more from their jobs than a steady paycheck. Young workers expect more frequent pay increases, actively seek positions that offer learning and growth opportunities, and demand appreciation and recognition.  

Annual performance reviews don’t align with these new employee demands. Over 60% of workers in one survey said they craved more "in the moment" feedback, with 82% saying they feel more valued when someone takes the time to provide feedback.

Nearly 90% of employers assume employees leave the company to make more money, The truth is that only 12% of employees earn more when they leave, proving that employees are looking for more than just money.

Annual Reviews Don’t Help Reduce Turnover

Another reason why annual performance reviews don't work is that they can exacerbate turnover. Giving employees one day a year to bring up concerns, talk about pay increases, and ask for feedback just isn’t enough

Employees want to know how they’re doing. Going 12 months between reviews leaves employees with a lot of time to wonder if they’re meeting management’s expectations. It can be especially frustrating during an annual review for employees to hear about something that could have been brought up months ago during a performance review.

When employees are left wondering about their performance, and with so many months between their chances to share their thoughts at a review, they start looking for work elsewhere.

Annual Reviews Cause Headaches for HR Departments

It might sound like HR departments have less work when they only have to worry about reviews once a year, but the opposite is true.

Amassing an entire year’s worth of performance data on each employee is time-consuming, and important points are likely to get lost in the shuffle. Annual reviews are often dependent on work anniversaries, a process that requires a lot of coordination from HR

Review forms have to be passed out and collected. HR has to make sure that managers sign off on them in the process. Then, HR and management teams have to make decisions based on the outcome of all of those reviews, which can feel overwhelming

The best way to fix this problem is to start using HR software that runs the performance review process automatically. Tools like PerformYard have reminders, automated forms and simple workflows that take the burden off of HR.

Streamline your performance review process with HR software.Learn More

Annual Reviews Can Lead to Outdated Compensation

You don’t want to wait to give your best employees raises or promotions, yet that’s what annual reviews force you to do. Employees go six, eight, or more months waiting for a raise. If they don’t get the raise they feel they deserve after all that time, they’ll start daydreaming of working somewhere else.

Some workers don’t feel appreciated. Some don’t feel like they are getting paid what they’re worth, and feel like the promotion they want is out of reach. Those employees will often start applying for other jobs

Your company also has to contend with a fast-changing labor market. It’s easier than ever for employees to find a higher paying job in between their annual reviews. 

Annual Reviews Don’t Account for Changing Goals 

It’s not just the labor market that’s changing nowadays. The other things that are changing are what customers want, what employees want, and the organizations themselves.

If you’re only setting goals once a year, those goals are going to end up being outdated by the time you conduct an annual review. It will be pointless to figure out if those goals were met because the goals will no longer align with the current goals of the company or employees.

When this happens, employees become frustrated because annual reviews feel like a waste of time. Not to mention, the review makes the employee feel like management doesn’t understand their goals or what they are contributing to the organization.

So what's the solution? Performance management software like PerformYard can keep every employee on the same page when it comes to goals. PerformYard's goal management dashboard allows you to update goals and tie them to frequent reviews.

Manage your entire company's goals in one place with PerformYard.Learn More

Annual Reviews Tend to Look Backwards Instead of Forwards

Another reason why annual performance reviews don’t work is that they tend to focus on the past. Companies spend a lot of time collecting performance data and talking about what could have been done differently. It’s almost as if future performance is an afterthought.

That can make employees feel judged without equipping them with the information they need to move forward in their position with confidence. Not to mention, it sets a tone that encourages employees to ruminate over past mistakes instead of looking forward to the future.

Annual Reviews Don’t Provide Actionable Data

What kind of data are you getting from an annual performance review? You might catch the big things, but with a year’s worth of work to comb through, you’re going to miss plenty of small things that are equally important.

That can be frustrating for workers, but it also means you’re amassing incomplete data. Without a complete set of data, any information you derive from that data will be inaccurate, which can result in negative consequences for your business.

The solution is to gather all the performance data in one place. Companies are ditching paper reviews in favor of dedicated software with reporting and analytics capabilities. PerformYard helps HR people manage data in ways they've never been able to before.

Track performance data like a modern HR pro with PerformYard.Learn More

Annual Reviews Don’t Work for Today’s Workforce

By 2027, the majority of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. Gen Z isn't far behind. They are projected to make up about 30% of the workforce by 2030 as Baby Boomers and Gen X retire. That’s important because today’s younger workforce doesn’t feel that annual reviews are as effective as older generations do.

Millennials are more stressed out by reviews that take place infrequently, and 67% of Gen Z want to receive feedback in a timely, constructive manner.

In a world where employees are resigning from their jobs more than ever before, it’s no longer a scary proposition to look for another job. Millennials and Gen Z have no qualms about hunting for a new job that will provide them with the work experience they are looking for.

What Should You Use Instead of Annual Reviews?

So, are annual reviews necessary? The answer is a resounding, "No!"

There’s no reason to stick with annual reviews when there are so many different types of performance reviews for you to choose from.

But, before you dive headfirst into a new performance appraisal system, it’s important to first ask these three questions about your organization:

  • Do your performance reviews improve performance?
  • Are your current performance reviews worth the time and energy?
  • What are the problems with your annual review process?

Do your performance reviews improve performance?

Have you thought about what you want to get out of your performance reviews? Or are you just marking them off of your to-do list because you think they are something you’re supposed to do?

The point of performance management isn’t to review past performance—it’s to impact future performance. That might mean seeing how an employee’s previous performance can inform their performance moving forward, but the goal is to improve performance among your employees.

How do you know if employee performance is improving? You have to know what to measure and how to measure it. If you aren’t collecting and analyzing data, there’s no point in doing performance reviews at all.

Are your current performance reviews worth the time and energy?

Is the data you’re getting from your performance appraisal process worth the time and energy? If you’re spending countless hours preparing for and having performance reviews with very little to show for it, you should consider a different review process.

You also have to think about whether management is getting what they need from the process, and whether they feel frustrated by how time-consuming it is.

Consider your employees too. Maybe management feels like they’re getting the information they need, but do your employees feel like they’re getting the information they need? It’s important to make sure your current performance reviews are worth the time, energy, and effort for everyone.

What are the problems with your annual review process?

Hopefully in answering the previous questions you have uncovered some problems that can be resolved. Take a deeper dive into your current process and see what other problems you can come up with. Then, you can find a performance review strategy that works for your business.

For example, are team goals changing throughout the year? That might be a sign that you need to try performance check-ins. If you find that your reviews focus on the past instead of the future, you could try a competency assessment to uncover gaps in knowledge that can be addressed with additional training.

Fixing Your Performance Review Process with PerformYard

There are a lot of problems with annual reviews, but that doesn’t mean other types of performance reviews are always better. It doesn’t always mean you have to scrap an annual review either! Performance reviews are important, but the kind of performance reviews you use depends on the unique needs of your organization.

That’s great news because it means you can customize a review process just for your business.

We have your back if the idea of overhauling your performance review process makes you feel confused and stressed. At PerformYard, we offer a flexible platform that enables you to build the right review process for your business and your employees, with the ability to pivot your strategy quickly and easily.

Let's make life easier for your HR department.Learn More

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9/12/2022
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Why The (Ineffective) Compliment Sandwich Prevails

Managers need to know how to give feedback. That means knowing:

  • How often to give feedback
  • How to present negative feedback 
  • How to deliver feedback that drives action

Many managers are still using old, unproven methods such as the compliment sandwich.

The compliment sandwich is a simple mind trick; you present positive feedback, then negative feedback, then another piece of positive feedback. 

The compliment sandwich is certainly prevalent, but is it effective? That is, do people who receive compliment sandwiches recognize the negative feedback in between the two pieces of positive feedback? 

PerformYard has compiled a survey-based report that seeks to answer this question and others, including:

  • Do people like receiving compliment sandwiches? 
  • How do people prefer that their bosses/managers give them feedback? 
  • How do managers tend to give feedback? 
  • Do people generally like the way their managers give feedback? 
  • What are alternatives to the compliment sandwich?

The results revealed that there are far better ways to deliver negative feedback than by using a compliment sandwich. There is also a discrepancy between how people say they want to give/receive negative feedback and how people give/receive negative feedback. 

Managers can use this information to deliver better, more effective feedback to employees.

Key Findings From The Survey

  1. The compliment sandwich remains very popular. 86% of people have received one and 95% of people have given one. 
  1. The compliment sandwich is confusing. Only 50% of respondents thought the negative feedback was the key takeaway from the compliment sandwich, and 86% of people thought the feedback was overall positive.
  1. The majority of respondents receive negative feedback directly, without sugarcoating. The majority of people also prefer this style of direct feedback. 
  1. When presented with alternatives to the compliment sandwich, an overwhelming majority of people want feedback that’s forward-looking, action-focused, frequent, and specific. People are quick to recognize better ways to give negative feedback.

The Compliment Sandwich Remains Popular

  • 86% of respondents have received a compliment sandwich. 95% have given one.
  • An overwhelming 86% of respondents reported receiving compliment sandwiches “sometimes” or “often.” 
  • When asked if they’d given a compliment sandwich, 95% of people said they had. 58% of respondents said they deliver compliment sandwiches often.

What’s the takeaway?

With so many people giving and receiving compliment sandwiches, it’s worth asking if it’s an effective way to deliver feedback. 

These findings suggest that the compliment sandwich is alive and well in many companies. Managers at your own company may be using compliment sandwiches to deliver feedback. You may even be delivering them without noticing. 

Now that we know the compliment sandwich is still being widely used, we must ask if we should continue using it. 

The Compliment Sandwich is Ineffective / Confusing

When presented with an example compliment sandwich:

  • 55% of respondents said the negative feedback was the most important takeaway.
  • 26% said the first piece of positive feedback was most important.
  • 15% said the last piece of positive feedback was most important. 

The supposed point of the compliment sandwich is to give negative feedback without making the person on the other end feel bad. The worry with compliment sandwiches is that the positive feedback will distract the recipient from understanding the negative feedback.

That’s why it’s notable that a little more than half of the respondents said negative feedback was the most important thing to take away from the compliment sandwich. That means 45% of respondents thought one of the pieces of positive feedback was most important.

Among respondents who said they received complement sandwiches, “often,” 43% thought the negative feedback was most important and 40% thought the first piece of positive feedback was most important. 

People who say they have never received a compliment sandwich were least likely to identify the negative feedback as the most important takeaway. 

What’s the takeaway?

Compliment sandwiches are a way to present negative feedback while softening the blow to the recipient. The goal is still to ensure the recipient understands the negative feedback. Since nearly half the people in our survey thought the positive feedback was the most important takeaway, it suggests that the compliment sandwich is not an effective communication tool. 

The Compliment Sandwich Doesn’t Create a Sense of Urgency

Although 55% of respondents thought the negative feedback was the most important part of the compliment sandwich, 85% of respondents thought the feedback was overall positive. 

Even among the 55% of recipients who thought the negative feedback was the most important part of the compliment sandwich, 77% of those people thought the feedback was overall positive. 

What’s the takeaway?

The findings suggest that the compliment sandwich may an effective way to create a sense of urgency in the person receiving the negative feedback. 

If you’re delivering negative feedback in a compliment sandwich, do you want the recipient to feel as though the feedback is overall positive? Would the recipient be likely to change their behavior if they think they’re getting positive feedback? 

The results of this survey show us at the compliment sandwich is confusing at best. There was no consensus about which piece of feedback was most important. Most people thought the feedback was overall positive even though a compliment sandwich is a tool used to deliver negative feedback. 

People Prefer When Negative Feedback is Direct

  • 58% of people prefer that their bosses give negative feedback directly without sugarcoating. 
  • 52% of people say their bosses do give negative feedback directly, without sugarcoating
  • Just 24% of respondents say that their boss uses compliment sandwiches to deliver negative feedback.
  • 67% of people think their boss is good at giving negative feedback.

Given the fact that most people say their bosses give them negative feedback directly, without sugarcoating, it’s worth exploring how people feel about their boss’s ability to give negative feedback. 

67% of respondents say their boss is “good” or “great” at delivering negative feedback. When we compare this data with the fact that most people’s bosses give negative feedback directly, we can conclude that people like bosses who give negative feedback directly. 

What’s the takeaway?

Being a well-liked manager does not always equate to being a good manager. Still, there are some takeaways here. We know that the compliment sandwich is a confusing, ineffective way to give feedback. 

If the compliment sandwich isn’t an effective communication tool, is it at least a way to get your employees to like you? That doesn’t seem to be the case either.  We also know that people say they like to receive negative feedback directly, and like bosses who deliver negative feedback directly. 

The compliment sandwich does not seem to have very many factors working in its favor. So why does it remain prevalent? 

The answer may lie in the disconnect between how people say they want to receive feedback, and how they deliver feedback. 

"We tend to have fears that somebody will take our feedback personally, get upset, or feel like we're innately criticizing who they are as a person. Research has shown that only 18% of employees receive feedback about their communication skills, but 97% of employees believe communication impacts their daily job performance.
Think about a time when you received feedback that genuinely helped you improve. Compare that to a time when you received feedback that didn't go so well - maybe you felt defensive or demoralized. What were some of the key differences? You probably had a much higher degree of trust with the person giving you feedback in the example where it went well."
- Laura Gallaher, PhD - CEO and Founder of Gallaher Edge

Why Does The Disconnect Exist? / Where Is It Coming From?

  • 58% of people have used compliment sandwiches when delivering negative feedback
  • 65% of people think they’re “good” or “great” at giving negative feedback.
  • 78% of people who have received formal training believe they are "Good" or "Great" at giving negative feedback.

People have high opinions of themselves when it comes to their ability to give negative feedback. More than 65% of people think they’re “good” or “great” at giving negative feedback. Just 8% of respondents say they’re “bad” at giving negative feedback.

With so many people believing they’re already good at giving negative feedback, it’s unlikely that many people would seek out training on how to give negative feedback. We found that 41% of respondents say they have never received any training on how to give negative feedback. 

  • 61% of non-managers have never received training on how to give negative feedback. 
  • 28% of managers have never received formal training on how to give negative feedback.
  • 76% of managers think they’re “good”’ or “great” at giving negative feedback.
  • Just 50% of non-managers think they're "good" or "great" at giving negative feedback.

These same respondents also tend to give compliment sandwiches when delivering feedback. 

There’s a clear disconnect here, as this same group of people said they prefer to receive negative feedback directly, without sugarcoating. 

What’s the takeaway?

Why do people who think they’re good at giving negative feedback continue to rely on compliment sandwiches?

The answer could be that compliment sandwiches are a crutch. We know they aren’t the most effective form of feedback, but we don’t like to give negative feedback directly. 

Managers can learn a lot from this data. As a manager, you may be sugar-coating negative feedback to soften the blow. The data suggests that you don’t have to do this; it isn’t an effective way to communicate and it won’t make your employees like you more. 

So, how should you deliver negative feedback?

When it comes to interpersonal feedback, here's a radical way to think about it: When you give me feedback, that tells me more about you than it tells me about me. And because our relationship is important to me, that's useful to me.
When it comes to interpersonal interactions, humans are different. We all have different life experiences, different associations, and we can totally put different meaning on the same observed situation. It's really useful to let go of the idea of right and wrong when it comes to giving interpersonal feedback. When you're giving interpersonal feedback to somebody, you're telling them, "hey, here's a way that I think you and I can work together more effectively."
- Laura Gallaher, PhD - CEO and Founder of Gallaher Edge

Compliment Sandwich Alternatives

The next section of the survey explored different ways to deliver feedback. We presented survey respondents with four questions that compared one form of feedback against the other:

  • 70% of respondents prefer forward-looking feedback to backward-looking feedback.
  • 90% of respondents prefer action-focused feedback vs character-focused feedback.
  • 81% of respondents prefer frequent feedback to infrequent feedback
  • 77% of respondents prefer specific feedback to more general feedback.

Across the board, respondents were able to recognize the right ways and wrong ways to deliver feedback. In all of these instances, we delivered feedback directly, without sugarcoating. We did, however, change how we delivered the feedback. 

Respondents preferred forward-looking feedback, (“Here’s what you need to do in the future”) to backward-looking, (“Here’s what you did wrong in the past”). 

They preferred action-focused feedback (“You did this thing wrong”) to character-focused feedback (“You don’t seem to care about work”)

They preferred frequent feedback (“You did this wrong this morning) to infrequent feedback (You’ve been doing this wrong for a month).

They also preferred specific feedback (“You need to do this part of the task better”) to general feedback (“You screwed up”). 

What’s the takeaway?

As a manager, it’s your job to deliver feedback that employees respond to. The survey participants indicated that they would respond better to certain types of feedback. These forms of feedback are far more effective than the compliment sandwich because they align with the respondent’s preferences for direct feedback.

However, you still need to focus on delivering feedback that is forward-looking, action-focused, frequent, and specific. 

What Should Managers Do With This Data?

The compliment sandwich isn’t just a gimmicky way to tell someone you don’t like their shoes. It’s a real way of delivering feedback that made its way into the modern workforce. 

However, the results of this survey show that the compliment sandwich sends mixed messages and isn’t likely to produce the desired outcome. 

When managers are thinking about how to provide feedback to the modern workforce, they can look to the results of this survey to see that direct feedback is best. Managers may also have to combat their tendencies to sugarcoat negative feedback. 

Most people think they’re good at delivering negative feedback, but many people also use the ineffective compliment sandwich when delivering negative feedback.

So, what’s the solution? 

Some people might think about going through formal feedback training. However, in our survey, people who have received formal training on how to give feedback are 5% more likely to sugarcoat negative feedback. 

The best solution may be the simplest solution. Give feedback directly and frequently. 

What is a Compliment Sandwich?

A compliment sandwich is a form of feedback in which you give someone a piece of positive feedback, then a critique, followed by another piece of positive feedback, thereby sandwiching the critique in between two positives. 

Compliment Sandwich Pop Culture References

  1. Pixar has a unique approach to negative feedback. They call it “plussing.” The rule is that if you give criticism, you have to also give a “plus.” Author David Burks writes about it more in his book, “The Myths of Creativity.”
  1. A recent analysis of Australian poetry reviews found that 44% used a different form of the compliment sandwich, called an “Open-Faced Compliment Sandwich.” The open-faced compliment sandwich is a neutral statement, followed by a negative statement, followed by a positive statement. Emmett Stinson writes about this phenomenon in the article, “How Nice Is Too Nice? Australian Book Reviews and the ‘Compliment Sandwich
  1. In season 2 of the TV show, “Hart of Dixie,” George is having trouble figuring out how to break up with a girl. His friend Wade explains to him the concept of the compliment sandwich, and George uses a compliment to break up with his girlfriend, Shelby. (Video)
  1. In an episode of the TV show, “Family Guy,” Stewie gives Brian a compliment sandwich as part of a manager review. Stewie leads with, “You look like Snoopy and it makes me smile” then gets to the negative feedback, “You’re a smelly dog.” (Video)

Just for Fun: Notable Findings About Feedback in the Workplace

Preferences by Age Group:

  • Younger respondents (age 25-34) are most likely to prefer a compliment sandwich.
  • Older respondents (55+) are least likely to prefer a complement sandwich

Perception of Bosses by Age Group:

  • Out of all age groups, people aged 45-54 are least likely to think their bosses are good at giving negative feedback.
  • Younger age groups are more likely to think their bosses are good at giving negative feedback.

Feedback Frequency by Age Group:

  • In the 55+ age group, a majority of respondents reported that they only receive feedback yearly.
  • Out of all the age groups, the 25-34-year-old age group was most likely to receive feedback monthly.

Stats About People Who Think Compliment Sandwiches are Negative:

  • Of the respondents who thought the compliment sandwich was overall negative, 87% thought the negative feedback was the most important part of the compliment sandwich; compared to just 55% for the regular population. 
  • Of the respondents who thought the compliment sandwich was overall negative, 0% had received formal feedback training.
  • Of the respondents who thought the compliment sandwich was overall negative, just 30% deliver compliment sandwiches often vs 56% of the regular population. 

California and Texas:

  • 75% of Californians surveyed had received some kind of training on how to give formal feedback, compared to just 57% of Texans surveyed. 
  • 37% of Californians surveyed think they’re “great” at giving negative feedback, compared to just 21% for the overall population. 
  • Among Californians surveyed, just 13% say their bosses use compliment sandwiches, compared to nearly 25% for the overall population.  

Education Level:

  • Among people with post-graduate degrees, 41% receive compliment sandwiches “often” compared to just 26% for the overall population.

Marital Status:

  • Among survey respondents who are divorced, 60% have never received formal training on how to give feedback, compared to 40% for the overall population.

Income Level:

  • Among people who make over $150k, 82% deliver compliment sandwiches “often,” compared to just 58% for the overall population. 
  • Among people who make over $150k, 48% think they’re “great” at giving negative feedback compared to just 21% for the overall population.
  • Among people who make over $150k, 53% have received formal feedback training compared to just 28% for the overall population.

How We Surveyed

This survey uses data from a sampling of US adults over the age of 25. All respondents have been employed for all or most of the last 12 months. 

The survey is broken down into three sections:

Section 1 presented survey respondents with a hypothetical compliment sandwich and asked them for their reaction. 

Section 2 explored people’s general thoughts on negative feedback; how it’s delivered to them, how they prefer to receive it, and how good they and others are at giving it.  

Section 3 presented the respondents with some alternative ways of delivering feedback and asked which way they preferred to receive feedback.

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9/7/2022
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How to Revisit Your Goals | A Guide to a Better Process

You’re on the right track if your organization is thinking about how to revisit your goals. Employee performance increases by 12 to 15 percent when effective goals are in place.

The trouble is that there are different types of goals and endless ways to personalize each goal. It’s easy to come up with ineffective goals that don’t serve your employees or your organization.

If you end up with goals that don’t seem to be working, should you revisit those goals? If so, how often should goals be revisited, and should goals change? Don’t let the process of readdressing your goals make you feel overwhelmed.

Read on to discover how to tackle the concept of re-evaluating your goals and learn how to build a better goal-setting system.

Considering Revisiting Your Goals

If you’re wondering if you need to revisit your goals, the answer is probably yes. Just thinking about reassessing your goals is a sign that something isn’t working. You need to take time to figure out what’s not working and how to amend your goals.

Your new goals should hit that sweet spot of being challenging and obtainable.

It’s okay if the thought of reevaluating your goals makes you feel frustrated because you spent so much time coming up with those goals in the first place. The solution isn’t to carry on with the goals you already have.

You might find your goals are too easy to accomplish, which means they aren’t challenging enough. On the other hand, your goals might be too hard. This can make employees feel frustrated, which isn’t the point of setting goals.

Streamline your goal-setting process with HR software.Learn More

Although it takes time, it’s better to reassess your goals when they aren’t working. This is true even if it means scrapping or amending goals so they better serve you.

How to Revisit Goals

Resetting goals can make you feel like a failure. The process also has the potential to make employees feel unsettled, unmotivated, and frustrated, especially if they feel like the leadership team changes goals without warning.

The process of changing goals doesn’t have to be frustrating if you pay just as much attention to the process of revisiting goals as you do to the goals themselves.

The first step of revising goals is diving into what when wrong. A few things to consider include:

  • Did something unexpected happen to affect the goal? For example, did a process take an unexpected pivot, or has a family situation caused an employee to spend less time at work?
  • Are external forces at play? For example, are outside vendors impacting the business, or maybe an economic situation is forcing changes in the company?
  • Were the goals set wrong in the first place? Maybe they were designed to be a little too easy, or the goals were too lofty to be achieved during regular working hours.

Ask for employee input when reevaluating goals that affect them. Tell them why the goals need revision, which means also telling them if there's an external reason for resetting goals. Employees are more willing to be agile and adapt if you are transparent about the reason why goals need to be reevaluated.

Part of the process should also include inspiring employee commitment to the new goals. Give employees some control over the process by allowing them to revise goals if they feel it is necessary, or to provide input if they feel their goals are too challenging.

Prizes for achieving goals can also be very effective, even if the prize is in the form of a heartfelt message of appreciation when a goal is reached. It gets everyone in the mindset of thinking about their goals every month, which means they will be less surprised when they have to reassess those goals.

A Better Goal-Setting Process

If you want to avoid the unplanned process of revisiting goals, you should focus on goal cycle frequency. This concept requires you to make reevaluating goals part of the goal-setting process instead of it being something that comes as a surprise.

When revision is part of the process, it gets the attention it deserves. Instead of rushing through the reevaluation of a goal, and likely creating an uninspiring, unchallenging, or overly difficult goal in the process, extra time is included in the process so the goal in question can be properly addressed.

Set goals with predictable time frames instead of setting lofty goals far into the future. That way, goals expire and are reset at a comfortable pace. You can worry less about whether your goals are working because you will be reevaluating them soon anyway.

For example, realizing a yearly goal needs to be changed six months in can be disappointing and frustrating. If instead, you set four monthly goals throughout the year, you can wait for the first goal to come to an end before you reevaluate and reset it ahead of next month’s goal.

Here's a diagram that shows how most organizations set goals. This can lead to issues where revisiting the goal messes up the goals for the whole year.

Here's an example of how to set goals so the revision process is baked into the goal. If you use this method, goal revisions won't feel like such a huge interruption.

How often you revise your goals can change depending on your organization and your employees.

During the early days of a new startup, Sam Blond, the CRO at Brex, will create monthly sales goals with a likelihood of 90 percent that those goals will be met. As he gets a feeling for the goals and they become more predictable, he extends the timeline so goals are still assessed, but they are assessed less often.

By creating a schedule and keeping time frames for goals manageable, you can revisit goals on a regular basis instead of revising them in a panic when they aren’t effective, or worse—avoiding the possibility of reassessing your goals at all.

But what about long-term goals? You should still set those too! They can help you anticipate potential problems, and they help you feel confident that your business has a plan in place to last for the long run.

The trick is to make sure these long-term goals aren't what's driving your workforce. Smaller, digestible goals that are reevaluated according to a schedule are what should inspire and encourage your employees day-to-day.

Goals are an effective tool to motivate your workforce and obtain personal achievements, but it’s not just about picking the right goals. Armed with these tips, you can make revising goals part of the process so everyone has obtainable and challenging goals that drive the success of your company.

PerformYard software makes it easy to set and re-evaluate goals. The software ties goals ot reviews and check-ins, so you don't have to worry about updating a spreadsheet or reminding people to revise goals every quarter.

Streamline your team performance appraisals with software.Learn More

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9/1/2022
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Team Performance Appraisal | Tips for HR Leaders

You know that collaboration is one of the best skills to look for in an employee. What you don’t know is how to measure it. Team performance evaluations consider how well team members handle their responsibilities. They also measure how well the team works together.

So, how do you know if team performance appraisals work for your organization? Let’s start with some definitions. 

Team-based performance appraisals measure the performance of any department or division. 

Here’s an example:

Your internet security department is working together to patch vulnerabilities. Team performance evaluations examine how they cooperated, collaborated, and held each other accountable. 

Here’s another example:

Your accounting division is implementing a new payroll process. Team-based performance appraisals help each team member understand expectations. They also help mark progress toward individual, team, and organization-level goals. 

Team performance appraisals are a natural fit in project-based organizations. Consider fields like construction, consulting, architecture, and public works. Project managers develop roles, responsibilities, timelines, and targets. Team performance appraisals measure performance based on these defined metrics. At the end of the project, you can assess what went well and what needs improvement. 

Most organizations need high-performing teams to be successful. Collaboration, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility enable teams to reach their goals. 

Streamline your team performance appraisals with software.Learn More

Trends in Team Performance Appraisals

A recent study found that 86% of managers think collaboration is an essential soft skill for their employees. Far fewer managers measure collaboration when evaluating individual performance. So where’s the disconnect?  

Most companies already have a system for evaluating individual performance. High-performing organizations know it's also essential to assess team performance. A Gallup poll studied managers who began evaluating their effectiveness as a team and providing feedback. Team performance improved by 8.5%, and productivity increased by 12.5%. 

In this article, we will discuss five tips for running an effective team performance appraisal process.  

Tips for Implementing a Team Performance Appraisal Process

Remember that for most organizations, individual performance appraisals are still the norm. The work disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic forced many companies to re-evaluate how they do business. It has also caused HR departments and managers to reconsider how they define and measure success. 

The old way:

Before, success may have looked like showing up to work, doing what's asked, and being friendly with co-workers.

individual performance appraisal

The new way:

Now employers are looking at how individual contributions relate to larger organizational goals. In a team performance appraisal, both managers and team members receive performance feedback. 

team-based performance appraisal

Organizations are using team-based performance reviews more and more to measure employee effectiveness. Team-based performance reviews are less biased and more inclusive than individual performance reviews. 

Modernize your team performance appraisals with PerformYard.Learn More

When implementing a team-based performance review process, you must consider a few factors:

  • The size of the team 

The team should be small enough that each member can offer meaningful input but large enough to provide diverse perspectives.

  • The nature of the work. 

The metrics should also be appropriate for a team setting; if not, individual performance reviews may be more effective.

Careful planning and execution are crucial to the success of team-based performance reviews. The process should also promote open communication and feedback. Also, teams should have adequate time to prepare for and conduct the review.

Consider Project-Based Performance Reviews

Project-based team performance reviews work for companies that do well-defined, time-limited projects. 

Project management systems simplify these reviews because the system tracks specifics like: 

  • Goals
  • Expectations
  • Roles
  • Objectives
  • Scope
  • Deliverables. 

Managers can measure the team's performance based on these success indicators. 

Doing team performance reviews after each project means having a frequent feedback cycle. Timely feedback helps correct deficiencies in performance in real time. Plus, project-based performance reviews are an excellent way to debrief after completing a project.    

Cascading Goals

Cascading goals flow from the top down. They start with the organization's objectives and end with specific goals for individual team members. This goal structure makes it easy for individuals to understand their roles. It also shows individuals how their performance aligns with the team and organizational goals. 

team performance goal

Compare Team Data to Other Teams

Your company’s performance appraisal process tells you where to make organizational improvements. Team performance appraisals show insights into team metrics like output, quality, and efficiency. This data helps managers improve performance by identifying areas where teams are struggling. It also helps managers see where they need to make changes to support their teams better. Finally, this information enables you to compare the performance of teams all across your organization.  

PerformYard lets you run reports after conducting performance reviews. These reports offer valuable data showing how each team is performing. When you identify a high-performing team, you can analyze the review responses to see what makes them successful. Then, you can find ways to replicate that advantage across the organization.  

Use 360 Reviews

Organizations with team-based performance review processes often use 360 reviews. These reviews help individuals understand how the rest of the team feels about their performance. PerformYard's flexible 360 reviews let team members provide feedback to each other and their managers.

360 reviews also help to create a more open and transparent performance review process. Giving all team members a chance to provide feedback ensures that everyone has a voice in the process. This helps to build trust and respect among team members and makes the process more effective.

team performance review

PerformYard makes it easy to run 360 reviews.Learn More

Use Software to Run a Smoother Appraisal Process   

PerformYard can be a huge help when running team-based reviews:

  • Facilitates communication between team members.
  • Identify areas that need improvement.
  • Provide a platform for giving and receiving feedback.

When done right, performance reviews are a valuable tool for improving team performance. Still, many managers feel overwhelmed by the process. 

PerformYard streamlines your performance management process with a centralized platform. That platform stores review data develops and delivers evaluations, and notifies you when reviews are due. If your organization has a complex system of individual, team, and department reviews, PerformYard simplifies it with an intuitive dashboard and robust analytical tools.

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8/23/2022
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HR Tips: Performance Management vs. Performance Appraisal

The terms "performance management" and "performance appraisal" are often treated as synonyms. The truth is that there is a big difference between the two concepts. Some organizations rely on performance appraisals to track employee performance. Others use appraisals as part of their broader performance management strategy.  

This article discusses the relationship between performance management and performance appraisal. 

Definition of Performance Management

Performance management is how an organization assesses and improves employee performance. The goal is to improve organizational performance by developing employees’ individual capabilities. Performance management is a continuous process. It helps employees set goals, identify training and development needs, and provide feedback. 

Performance management systems comprise five main parts: 

  • Planning – First, the organization identifies goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the tools that let the organization measure employee performance.
  • Monitoring – The next step is monitoring employee performance through a series of evaluations. Monitoring can take the form of periodic reviews or continuous feedback. 
  • Developing – Managers help employees improve performance as opportunities for improvement become clear. Managers can use retraining and upskilling to turn adequate employees into high performers. 
  • Rating – Performance appraisals provide ratings to measure employee performance and progress. These ratings let you measure your performance management strategy with numbers.
  • Rewarding – Performance management systems offer a way to reward high-performing individuals. Compensation and recognition help organizations can motivate employees. 

Unify all the elements of performance management with PerformYard.Learn More

Definition of Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is not performance management. It does play an essential role in the performance management process. Dessler says performance appraisal is "the systematic evaluation of the performance of employees and to identify areas in which they need improvement."

A performance appraisal is a periodic event (every year, twice per year, quarterly). During this event, employees receive a formal review and rating of their performance. 

Performance appraisals offer essential data on performance over time. The appraisal is part of a comprehensive performance management strategy.

The appraisal may come after the company defines performance goals and communicates them to employees. Performance appraisals  provide valuable insights into past behaviors and productivity levels. Performance appraisals also highlight areas for improvement. Likewise, the appraisal informs discussions about how to improve employee performance over time.  

It will be up to your organization to determine the best appraisal strategy based on your organizational structure. These are four popular performance appraisal tools in use today: 

360s Reviews

Peer reviews mean both managers and employees give and receive feedback. This style offers a more comprehensive assessment of employee performance.

A 360 review solicits input from the whole team. That includes the employee, coworkers, and supervisors. With this approach, organizations can better negate the impacts of bias and achieve a more balanced assessment.

Management by Objectives

Management by objectives is exactly what it sounds like. Evaluations measure employee performance in the context of organizational goals and objectives.

Note that this approach has limitations. It will not measure anything that is not among the organization's stated goals. Employees won’t get recognition for reliability if it is not an explicit organizational goal

PerformYard shows goals alongside reviews so you can easily manage by objectives.Learn More

Self-evaluation

Self-evaluations are somewhat flawed. They ask employees to rate their performance without bias. This isn't only a problem of inflated ratings; some employees will rate themselves too low.

Rating Scale

Some organizations use a matrix of behaviors and performance indicators. This approach saves time when measuring employee productivity. A rating system lets managers score employees on metrics like time management or KPIs. 

Performance Appraisals Tend to Look Backward

One of the challenges with performance appraisals is that they tend to look backward. That is, they focus on what has already happened rather than on what could happen in the future.

Performance appraisals offer valuable insights and a historical context for employee development. That said, they can still be problematic.

They focus on past mistakes rather than future potential. A negative appraisal (or worse, two or more in a row) can also cause an employee to feel "stuck." They can be stuck in a particular role or level of performance. This stifles motivation and creativity.

Performance Management Tends to Look Forward

Many businesses are now using performance management systems to get the most out of employees.

Performance management systems help businesses keep tabs on employee progress. Organizations can also use them to motivate workers to do their best. After all, everyone wants recognition for a job well done.

A performance management system is a good idea if you want to get the most out of your employees. Setting and tracking goals ensures your employees have a clear pathway to success. 

Many organizations feel that they don't have enough time or resources to support a performance management system. In fact, according to a study by Gartner, managers spend 210 hours per year on performance management activities. With the proper performance management system, you can streamline the process to reduce the burden on managers. 

PerformYard helps companies run full-cycle performance management systems. The platform provides a centralized system. You can define organizational goals, establish employee performance benchmarks, and track employee reviews.

PerformYard automates the review process. It sends notifications and reminders to ensure that reviews get completed on time, without ongoing follow-up. 

Get a 20-minute tour of PerformYard.Learn More

Should you use Performance Appraisals or Performance Management?

Wondering if you should use performance management or performance appraisals in your organization? Start by thinking about what you are trying to do

Performance appraisals are a good choice if you want to use annual reviews to measure performance over time. They also let you identify poor performers in your organization so you can take corrective action. 

Performance management systems support a culture of continuous improvement and professional development. They’re perfect for companies that want to develop talent within their organization. Performance appraisals focus on past achievements or deficiencies. Performance management systems offer a modern approach to talent development and retention. 

Managing employee performance can also prepare your business for an uncertain future. Organizations continue to face challenges from the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Many are looking for ways to improve their performance management systems.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Organizations should consider a few factors that can future-proof their performance management systems.

First, your performance management system must align performance management objectives with organizational goals. This alignment provides a framework. It can hold employees accountable for their contributions to your organization's success. 

You should also consider using data to drive decision-making around performance management. Data from periodic performance appraisals help you identify areas where employees need improvement. It can also help you target potential areas of opportunity.

FAQs

Is performance appraisal a part of performance management?

Yes. Performance appraisal is a part of performance management. Performance management also includes setting goals, providing feedback, and coaching employees. 

Is performance management synonymous with performance appraisal?

Organizations use performance management to ensure employees are meeting performance goals. Performance appraisal is one part of performance management. Performance management also includes goals, feedback, and improvement plans.

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8/16/2022
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Microsoft’s New Approach to Performance Management

Microsoft employees recently ranked the company’s culture higher than any other company with over 500 employees. Microsoft even beat out HR darling Google for the top spot.

The software giant’s high ranking is due to factors including fairness and trustworthy management. These two factors play a big role in performance management, which is one of the keys to Microsoft’s success.

This article will show you what Microsoft’s performance management process looks like now. We’ll also show how their willingness to change processes has helped them get to where they are today.

How to build a flexible performance management system like Microsoft.Learn More

Out with the Old: How Microsoft Has Changed Its Performance Management Process

Annual performance reviews are the norm at many organizations, and they used to be the norm at Microsoft. There’s something intuitive about meeting once a year to talk about employee contributions and goals for the upcoming year.

Yearly performance appraisals seem like the natural way to review employees. That doesn’t mean they are the best way to review employees.

Annual appraisals can feel heavy, and they rarely impart useful or actionable information. Here are some of the common complaints about annual reviews:

  • Take too long 
  • Tend to be one-sided
  • Too formal
  • Too general 

These annual reviews end up becoming another thing management has to check off their to-do list. Employees do what they can to get through the meeting, then return to work without internalizing any of the information.

Annual reviews were driving many of the Microsoft performance management issues in the past, so the company made some changes. The new process focuses on each employee’s role in the future of the company rather than their past performance.

Microsoft’s Performance Management Process

Microsoft’s performance management process includes:

  • Creating a performance journal
  • Setting goals
  • Conducting flexible performance reviews

The key to this performance review process is its flexibility. There are three components to the process, but employees don’t have to complete every component in order, or at all, before a performance review. 

microsoft performance management
Source: Microsoft Documentation

Employees don’t have to write detailed performance journals to create goals. The team doesn’t have to set up goals before conducting a performance review either. This approach creates a nimble process.

PerformYard's flexible software can help you build your own performance management system.Learn More

Microsoft’s Performance Journals

Performance journals provide employees with a place to gather information during a review period. The employee can catalogue work-related activities and events, as well as future projects. Employees create journals for themselves, and can decide whether to share them with a manager.

Microsoft’s performance journals include a 360 review process. Employees can send feedback to any employee in the organization. The employees involved and their managers will be notified of the review and the review is stored in the employee journal.

Journals are an example of the laid back approach to performance management. Employees and managers aren’t required to share their performance journals with others. There are no rules for word count or number of entries ahead of a performance review. The journals are a tool for employees to support their performance.

How Microsoft Uses Goals in Performance Management

Microsoft provides employees with a platform to manage and track their goals. Management and employees can assign goals, and the performance journal links to goals.

Goals are not required for performance reviews, although managers may choose to include them as part of the review process. This approach enables managers and employees to conduct reviews whenever they are convenient, even if there isn’t enough time to create or review goals in-depth.

microsoft performance goals
PerformYard's cascading goals feature

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Microsoft’s Performance Review Process

Microsoft calls reviews “discussions.” This approach reflects the company’s informal nature. Because Microsoft’s modern review process is so flexible, it can support continuous feedback and more formal reviews.

Check-Ins

Managers can create small meetings for two people by entering a few details in the company’s online platform. Like formal reviews, these meetings are a chance to share personal or team progress, goals, and feedback. Unlike formal reviews, check-ins let employees and managers have ongoing dialog about performance whenever it’s convenient for both parties.

Semi-Annual Reviews

Much of this Microsoft performance management case study shows that their review process is meant to be informal. It caters to the needs of each team. That doesn’t mean Microsoft has abandoned the more formal review process.

Microsoft nestles semi-annual reviews into their continuous feedback approach. One employee on Glassdoor mentioned there is a wide range of ways Microsoft makes sure employees understand and exhibit company values. One of those ways is a semi-annual review.

Ratings have also fallen by the wayside at Microsoft. Employees can focus on opportunities to grow because they aren’t worried about hitting an arbitrary rating number

Annual Surveys

Managers have their own performance journals where others can submit reviews. Because of this, employees already feel like they have a say in the review process. Microsoft also uses an annual survey that asks employees to share their feedback.

One employee recounts the changes that took place after a survey, 

“I remember my first year on my current team. We were all very overworked and stressed, and in our yearly survey, our team and org put very low scores for work-life balance. The shift in work-life balance after that was astonishing, and 1.5 years later, I'm still happy with it.”

Ties to Compensation

Microsoft has always had a generous rewards budget. Now they are investing even more in boosting pay and stock compensation to help keep talent. Microsoft doubled their budget for employee salary increases. They also boosted the range of stock compensation by at least 25%.

According to Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, says the higher budget helps, "recognize exceptional impact and support retention of our most competitive talent pools."

Key Takeaways For Your Organization

You don’t have to copy every aspect of Microsoft’s performance management process. Pick and choose what you think will work for your business.

Some of the standout features of the Microsoft process include:

  • Performance journals allow employees to organize work-related activities and events impact their performance
  • Employees can o provide feedback to every other employee in the organization
  • Employees and management can create and track goals at any time
  • Semi-annual reviews take place between check-ins throughout the year
  • Performance journal entries and goals are not required to have a performance review

Find More Inspiration

Other top companies are doing performance management in innovative ways. You can use their techniques in your own performance management strategy.

Articles to check out include:

Ready to build your own performance management system?Learn More

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8/10/2022
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9 New Performance Management Tools for Modern HR

The more performance management tools you have, the easier it is to run a great performance review process. It’s hard to run an effective review process if you’re just relying on annual reviews. 

Your toolbox might already include classic HR tools like self-evaluation forms, cascading goals, and 1:1 feedback. When you’re ready to take a more modern approach, you can add continuous feedback, data visualizations, and goal progress tracking.

Before using any of these tools, you should understand how they fit into your performance management strategy. Let’s dive into the six components of performance management, then explore nine tools you can use to run amazing performance reviews.

PerformYard's built-in tools can modernize your review process right away.Learn More

What Are the Six Components of Performance Management?

Performance management is a broad term. Breaking it down into six components will help us think about how our HR tools can be more useful.

Human resources

The human resources (HR) department creates and implements the performance management process. HR is also responsible for making sure every employee follows the set process. That involves reviewing the performance management process after each cycle. HR should also train managers and employees so that each group understands its role in the performance review process.

Succession planning

Part of performance management involves documenting each role’s responsibilities and processes. A new employee should be able to step into the vacated role and have documentation to guide them. 

Succession planning means having a plan to replace employees who leave. The plan ensures other team members can cover an employee’s responsibilities on short notice. Succession planning is especially critical during uncertain times, as SHRM reports. With workers quitting at a higher rate, succession plans ensure the company can continue running without missing a beat. 

Feedback

Informal feedback offers employees constructive information about how they’re doing in the short term. Formal feedback can be a debriefing process after a project, or it can occur during the formal performance review. 

Companies should document both types of feedback as part of the performance review process. Most companies only document formal feedback. PerformYard’s continuous feedback documents informal feedback and rolls it into formal reviews.

performance management feedback tool
PerformYard can roll feedback into annual reviews

You can use one dashboard for goals, reviews and feedback.Learn More

Goal setting

Goals provide employees with direction and expectations. The more you can tie individual goals to company goals, the easier it is for employees to understand their impact. At a minimum, you should be able to track goal progress in a dashboard. If you want to further align your organization, you can use PerformYard to tie employee goals into department goals into organizational goals.

Communication

Reviews, feedback, 1:1, and check-ins are the most common forms of performance management communication. Remote work has shifted 1:1s and formal reviews from the office to the screen, but the shift hasn’t stopped companies from collaborating. 

A 2022 survey by Futurum Research and Microsoft found that “almost (of companies) 80% feel like they collaborate as well now as they did before.” 

Motivation

Motivation can  be intrinsic; many employees find motivation in their relationships with colleagues and customers. Motivation can come also from the promise of increased compensation, promotions, or bonuses. 

The employee should know how these incentives tie to their reviews and goals. There’s a lot to be learned from gathering data on employee motivation. For example, you may find that employees with lower salaries are more motivated by compensation than employees with higher salaries. 

To access this type of data, you’ll need a software platform that can show employee data alongside review data. PerformYard does just that.

What are the 9 best performance management tools?

Performance management interactions provide direction for employees and documentation for managers. The process can be cumbersome when companies try to use manual systems. That has long been the case for many organizations. 

Modern software can streamline the process through automation, centralized dashboards, and notifications. Check out this list of tools and think about how they’ll work within your organization.

Reviews and Check-In Tools

Review forms are only as useful as the data they capture. If you’re using paper forms or Google Docs, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re capturing and analyzing the data from every review.

1. Review Forms

Review forms are the formal documents (now usually electronic) that document employee performance. The best performance management review tools are customizable because every company needs different kinds of data. 

Your forms should allow the HR department and managers to choose different variables such as:

  • Question Types
  • Form Authors
  • Form Subjects

Your forms should also offer the ability to swap out questions and adjust wording without too much heavy lifting.

review management tools

2. Review Completion Tracking

One of HR’s biggest responsibilities is making sure everyone has completed their reviews. This is easy when the company runs one annual review at the same time for every employee. It’s harder when the company starts to get serious about great performance management. 

More review cycles lead to more work for HR. Annual reviews are easy to track; bi-annual or quarterly reviews are harder to track. HR’s job gets even harder when the company runs reviews based on the employee’s work anniversary. 

Performance management software tracks which employees and managers have completed reviews on time. Tools like PerformYard show review progress in a live progress dashboard that eliminates the need for follow-up from HR.

performance management dashboard
PerformYard's dashboard shows which employees have completed reviews.

PerformYard is the simple, efficient way to track review completion.Learn More

3. 360 Reviews

The more people you ask to review an employee, the better you’ll understand how an employee contributes to the company. That’s the purpose of 360-degree reviews. 

Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger/Folkman, reports that “more than 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies use the 360-degree feedback process as a cornerstone of their leadership development process.”

The problem is that 360 reviews come with extra forms. More forms mean more work for HR unless you’re using software to automate the process. Tools like PerformYard make it easy to send out reviews, gather results, and analyze the findings. 

Read this case study to learn how one mid-sized

4. Data-Rich Performance Management Reports

Reporting is a critical part of the performance management process. PerformYard software produces data-rich reports with visual layouts, making it easy to understand the performance management data. When you understand data, you can act on it.

Goal Management Tools

Goal progress and completion are fundamental elements of effective performance management. It’s critical to have one place where employees and managers can track goal progress in real-time.

5. Cascading Goals

As we’ve discussed, individual employee goals should tie to the team and organizational goals. This creates a direct line of sight into how employee actions impact company success. It’s not easy to do this without the help of software. Software tools track goals and sync goals so that when an employee completes a goal, the company’s goals update too.

goal management tools
PerformYard can cascade organizational goals into individual goals.

6. Goal Progress Tracking

HR, managers and senior leaders want to know what kind of progress is being made toward goals at all levels. The best performance management tools allow every member of the team to define and track their own individual goals. Your performance management process should also provide the opportunity to collaborate; employees should be able to share goals and view progress.

7. Goal Visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s true when it comes to communicating progress and expectations. The best tools let you create easy-to-read charts and graphs that show progress towards goal completion.

tracking goals for performance management
PerformYard tracks individual goals alongside reviews.

Continuous Feedback

Ongoing feedback is effective feedback. Feedback is useless if it only comes at the end of the year when it’s too late to make changes. Formal reviews aren’t the only time when supervisors and managers need to provide feedback. 

The best performance management tools create opportunities for feedback year-round. Tools like PerformYard also store feedback so you can use it in formal reviews.

8. 1:1 Feedback

Your performance management tool should let you share and document immediate feedback. That includes feedback from peers and direct supervisors. Everyone should have the ability to recognize others and choose to share information with teams or individuals. Performance management software can document the feedback as part of the employee’s performance record.  

9. Public Feedback

Public feedback tools are another important feature to look for in a performance management tool. PerformYard offers public feedback and lets people “tag” their feedback. The tags are searchable, so managers can locate the public feedback when it’s time for a formal review.

All nine of these tools are available with PerformYard.Learn More

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8/4/2022
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Automated Performance Reviews | 5 Reasons to Switch

Automated performance reviews can help solve the persistent problems businesses face in 2022. Organizations worldwide are grappling with worker shortages caused by the pandemic.

In years past, a business could replace a worker who wasn't performing well. Now, businesses need to work with the employee to elevate performance. In other words, the business needs to develop a performance management strategy.

Annual reviews are no longer enough to motivate and empower employee performance. According to SHRM, more frequent reviews yielded the best results. 60% of HR professionals prefer semiannual reviews and 86% prefer quarterly reviews. An astonishing 90% of HR professionals are using ongoing reviews

Frequent performance reviews are resource-intensive. That’s why so many companies only do them once a year (or never). Large companies face a particularly daunting challenge. These organizations may have hundreds or thousands of employees to review. 

So how can HR professionals use technology to meet this challenge? Switching to an automated performance review system increases efficiency and accuracy. It also improves communication between employees and managers.

This article will reveal why you should switch to an automated performance review system. We’ll also explain how the best performance evaluation software can save you time and money. 

A quick demo can show you how automated reviews will work for your organization.Learn More

What is Automated Performance Management?

Performance reviews guide and empower employee performance, but these check-ins can be time-consuming. SHRM found that managers spend over 210 hours per year on performance reviews alone. 

Automated performance management tools make it easier for managers to assess employee performance. These tools show data to track employee work patterns and progress toward goals.

Automated Performance Review vs. Manual Reviews

The job of reviewing and monitoring employee performance is never done. Managers must review their employees' work and provide feedback on an ongoing basis. 

While many companies still use manual reviews, the manual process has several disadvantages. 

Manual reviews are less accurate than automated reviews

Bias is a major factor in the validity of manual reviews. Automating the review process helps you score employees based on completed goals. Reviews are less likely to show bias when you use data to fill out reviews.

Manual reviews are more time-consuming and resource-intensive than automated reviews

Manual reviews are a heavy lift for HR departments, and most HR departments are already stretched thin. Automated reviews rely on software to gather employee data. Manual reviews force HR to send many emails and reminders to get the same information.

Manual reviews are more expensive than automated reviews

It’s no secret that automated reviews are only possible through software investment. Still, manual reviews are more expensive when you consider how much time HR spends on the process

Anyone who uses manual reviews is already familiar with the method’s shortcomings. You may have even considered switching from manual to automated reviews

Switching from manual to automated performance reviews may seem is as simple as uploading manual forms into a software tool like PerformYard. Let’s talk about why you may want to switch to automated performance reviews in your organization. 

5 Reasons to Switch to Automated Performance Reviews 

Automated performance review software helps you streamline and simplify your performance review process. The software lets employers assess work, provide feedback, and track progress.

1. It’s Easier for HR to Run Automated Reviews

HR departments have responsibilities that extend well beyond performance management. Automating the performance review process can help to ease the burden on HR. 

Performance management software notifies employees when they need to fill out reviews. It also alerts managers to sign off on reviews. Every employee can sign into one platform to fill out reviews. That means HR doesn’t have to email reviews to individuals

PerformYard's performance review tool streamlines the review process. This tool lets you build custom forms and schedule their distribution. You can also assign forms to employees and use notifications to tell people that the form is ready for completion. 

Ready to move on from spreadsheets? PerformYard can streamline your process.Learn More

2. Review and Approval Notifications

Tracking performance reviews for a large organization can become an overwhelming task. HR has enough to do without having to bug people to fill out reviews. PerformYard sends updates that let employees and managers know when it's time to fill out reviews.

The tool sends the completed reviews to managers for approval when they are ready. Worried how you'll keep track of all the reviews? PerformYard stores every review, piece of feedback and goal in the employee’s profile. 

3. Automated Review Systems Produce Actionable Data

Automated performance review software compiles employee data from multiple review cycles into one report. From there, managers can see positive and negative trends. These trends can help inform future reviews.

PerformYard reports provide a comprehensive view of employee performance over time. PerformYard makes it easy for employees, teams, and managers to identify opportunities for growth. These types of reports aren’t an option when you use manual processes. 

Do more with your employee reviews with data from PerformYard.Learn More

4. Focus on the People Instead of the Process

Conducting performance reviews has long been a time-consuming process. Now, HR professionals can use automated review tools to assess employee performance. This shifts the focus from a difficult review process to the actual employees going through the reviews.

Automated performance review tools allow HR professionals to focus on the people rather than the process. Automating the review process helps managers, employees and HR focus on giving great reviews.

5. Store Every Review Interaction to Use in Annual Reviews

Unlike manual reviews, automated review systems store every employee's interactions within the system. For example, PerformYard stores one-off feedback notes, quarterly check-ins, 1:1 meeting notes, and goals in one place. This information is stored in the employee's profile and used to create a report for the annual review. 

The employee report shows how well the employee performed over the year. It also includes data on how often the employee received positive or negative feedback. This information helps managers decide if an employee needs more training or if they are meeting expectations.  

First Step to Switching to Automated Performance Reviews 

If you're ready to make the switch, you're not alone. A study by Gartner found that more than 80% of HR leaders are changing their performance management systems.  

So what’s the first step to transitioning to an automated performance review system? It starts with finding a platform that can work with your existing review process. PerformYard is the best performance review software for small companies and large organizations.

With PerformYard, you don't have to conform to anybody else's vision for success. PerformYard is a flexible performance management tool that lets you decide what to measure and when. You can set individual and team goals and measure success on an ongoing basis, according to a manageable, predictable schedule. 

Take 20 minutes to explore PerformYard.Learn More

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7/28/2022
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Four Tips on How to Measure Employee Performance

How can you tell whether your employees are working harder or working smarter? Employees should work on the tasks that impact the bottom line. How do you measure employee performances it relates to company-wide objectives?

This article examines how to measure, what to measure, and how PerformYard’s performance management software can help.

What are four ways to measure employee performance?

You can measure employee performance in four primary ways. First, you can use both qualitative measurements and quantitative measurements. You can also track their professional development and contribution to company goals

Quantitative Measurement

How to Measure

Qualitative measurement consists of input received from others. That includes peers, supervisors/managers, customers, and clients. These inputs provide insights into the experiences of those who have interacted and worked with the employee. This input can come in the form of:

  • 1:1s – These are conversations between supervisors and employees. Supervisors share feedback that is positive and/or constructive.
  • 360 reviews – This is input from those other than an employee’s direct supervisor or manager. It can come from peers, team members, or other managers.
  • Continuous feedback – PerformYard allows you to provide real-time feedback and track employee performance.

What types of things can you measure through qualitative inputs? You’ll be measuring things related to employees’ soft skills.

how to measure feedback

Give your employees better feedback with PerformYard.Learn More

What to Measure

Employees should have the ability to work with and through others. To do this, the employee must have a range of soft skills. These skills affect collaboration and relationships with coworkers, customers, and vendors. For instance

  • Culture fit. To what extent do an employee’s actions and behaviors support the desired culture? Let’s say the culture values quality. How do employees’ efforts show a concern with quality? Are they efficient and effective? 
  • Collaboration. Communication skills are critical for any position. They’re even critical for individual contributors who have limited interactions with others. All employees get work done by working with others.
  • Attitude. Attitude can relate to a willingness to work with others or a willingness to share expertise with others. It can also relate to a willingness to help a colleague who is struggling.

Different organizations will value different types of qualitative attributes. 

Qualitative insights also can help identify quantitative employee performance measurement examples.

Quantitative Performance Measurement

Quantitative performance management offers more unbiased insights than qualitative feedback. Quantitative measurements might include such things as sales, production, and error rates.

How to Measure

The first step in quantitative performance measurement is establishing performance goals. What do managers expect of the employee? You can provide employees with the opportunity to define their own goals in consultation with their managers. Employees will feel a new level of ownership. When employees feel ownership, they’re more committed to their work. They will also be more likely to achieve goals because they set the goals themselves. 

Once you establish goals, you can track them with PerformYard. The platform is a 24/7/365 resource for employees, managers, and HR. It allows you to track goals on a quarterly, monthly, or even more frequent basis. For instance, you may measure sales goals monthly but measure safety goals quarterly

Ditch the spreadsheets and track performance metrics with PerformYard.Learn More

What to Measure

Quantitative measures of success will be different for every employee. The measurement will depend on the position they hold and their past performance.

Here are a few examples. 

A salesperson might the following quantitative measures: 

  • Calls made 
  • Leads generated
  • Total sales revenue

An employee whose attendance has been poor might have the following quantitative measures:

  • Days showing up on time 
  • Hours worked

Professional Development Performance Measurement

Modern employees want opportunities for professional development. Your workforce will appreciate opportunities to continue to learn and grow. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to establish professional goals. You can track progress towards professional development goals within your performance management platform. Employees who grow at your organization will end up being more loyal to the company.

How to Measure

You can define training goals at the beginning of the year and incorporate them into annual goals. Training goals relate to specific goals employees will be working on during the year. They may also relate to individual career aspirations for the employee’s future. PerformYard allows you to categorize goals into different “buckets.” You can move goals into buckets such as professional development, sales, safety, and more. 

PerformYard also allows you to measure progress on training goals. You can check in with employees during 1:1s or conduct scheduled meetings to discuss progress. PerformYard’s data will tell you if the employee needs support to achieve professional development goals.

What to Measure

You can measure professional goals by tracking the number of training sessions completed. Companies can also track how many new skills the employee acquired. You can also outcome measures such as scores on tests or the success of projects that use new skills.

Contribution to Company Goals

HR professionals use performance management to align goals. Aligning goals means tying the company’s goals to the goals of employees at every level of the organization. 

How to Measure

PerformYard makes it easy to track employee contributions through cascading goals. Cascading goals show how employees’ performance drives important company outcomes.

how to measure employee goals

Here's an example of cascading goals: Customer call center staff contribute to customer satisfaction.

You can measure how employees handle calls and the number of calls they answer each day. Those are the employee’s bottom-line metrics, but they’re tied to the company’s customer satisfaction metrics. 

What to Measure

Some examples of company goals include:

  • Company revenue numbers
  • Company revenue growth numbers
  • Profit vs spending

Employee performance goal contributions might include:

  • Individual revenue growth
  • Individual profit contributions
  • Individual spending levels

Cascading goals align everyone based on organizational goals. This approach breaks up big-picture strategies into clear tasks and deliverables. It’s easy to communicate and track these goals with a software platform like PerformYard.

Align your organizational goals with PerformYard's goal management dashboard.Learn More

Company leaders can use the platform to see how goals align throughout the organization. The leadership team will be able to see how individual employees contribute to desired outcomes. Leadership can also see when employees need to move to new projects that have more of an impact on company goals. 

How to measure employee performance with PerformYard

An online performance management system takes the hassle out of formal performance reviews. PerformYard fuels ongoing feedback and review throughout the year. The platform offers all-the-time access to performance management information. This access has become vital as remote or hybrid offices become more popular.

PerformYard removes the administrative burdens of traditional review processes. It also helps with automation and documentation. The platform ensures employees receive positive and constructive feedback throughout the year. 

Take 20 minutes to learn how PerformYard can help your organization.Learn More

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7/20/2022
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What Do Performance Management Systems Look Like in 2022?

Performance management systems align an organization's goals with its employees' behaviors and efforts. The systems drive feedback, celebrate achievements, motivate, and set expectations. They show employees where to focus their efforts. The processes also help employees understand their role within the organization.

What are the purposes of performance management systems?

Performance management systems provide a framework for managing, tracking, and rewarding performance. The formal process ensures employees get the feedback they need to improve their performance. Feedback can come in many different forms, but should always help employees grow and learn how to become more effective.

Feedback lets people know how they're doing on the job. Without this information, staff members may not understand what they're doing wrong. They may think everything is fine when it's not. 

Feedback is most useful when it is timely. Imagine that your organization waits until annual reviews to assess an employee's job performance. In that case, even constructive criticism will come too late for anyone's benefit. Because the evaluation is too late to be beneficial, it can even cause resentment. 

PerformYard is performance management software that can help you implement any performance management system. The platform offers continuous feedback functionality, making it easy to deliver timely feedback.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

A performance management system can alsohelp you hire, develop, and reward employees. It also helps celebrate employee achievements. 

Example: Your company has a sales goal for the year. One of your employees has been working hard towards that goal. You could give them a gift card or recognition certificate when they reach it. 

This achievement will let them know they were able to do something great for your organization. Seeing others achieve success can also be very motivating for other employees. 

What are the different types of performance management systems?

The best performance management system for your organization is a flexible one. It should adapt to your structure, goals, and culture

Most performance management models fall into three categories. 

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Silicon Valley Approach

Each of these systems can focus on accountability or development. 

Traditional Performance Management Systems

Traditional performance management systems rely on annual and semi-annual check-ins. This type of performance management model has minimal touch points. The lack of touch points can hinder performance improvement. The traditional approach tends to look backward instead of forward, as employees and managers rarely meet.

Quarterly Check-Ins

Managers have a short meeting with employees every three months (or something similar). In this meeting, they’ll discuss what went well and what could improve in the next quarter. This is also a good time for both parties to upcoming projects that might need extra attention or support.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

Annual Reviews

Once per year, the manager and employee will discuss the employee’s performance over the past twelve months. This annual review is a great time to set goals for the next year and develop a plan to reach those performance benchmarks.

Performance Ratings

Performance evaluations help motivate employees to perform at the highest level. The ratings help managers identify strengths and weaknesses. Rating systems, such as those described in this article, give a numerical value to employee performance. Managers can use the ratings to reward employees or identify candidates for performance coaching. 

Modern Performance Management Systems

Modern performance management models offer a framework for improving employee performance. Traditional performance management relies on annual or quarterly reviews to identify deficiencies. The modern performance management system uses frequent touch points to help employees improve.

Continuous feedback

Consistent feedback creates an environment where people feel happy and appreciated at work. That kind of buy-in will also make it easier for your company to make changes or improvements down the line. Your team will be more likely to welcome new ideas if they already feel valued by management.

Continuous feedback is a great way to support your employees' professional growth. Rather than waiting for annual or quarterly reviews, you can offer timely feedback that can improve performance at any moment.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

360 Reviews

You can build trust in a working relationship by having an open dialogue where people feel comfortable speaking their minds. Asking other employees for feedback on their team members can provide a holistic view of the employee's performance. 360 reviews build a well-rounded profile of an employee's performance. 

1:1s

The 1:1 meeting is an important opportunity to foster a positive and productive relationship with employees. It's also a great time to get feedback on managerial performance, which can help managers improve.

The meeting should be a two-way conversation. Managers can talk about the things that are going well and how the employee can improve. The best way to do this is by talking about organizational goals:

  • What does the organization want to achieve?
  • What would success look like for the organization?
  • How is the employee contributing toward this organizational goal?

The Silicon Valley Approach

Tech companies popularized the Silicon Valley approach. Intel developed it in the 1980s, and it has since been adopted by many other companies including Google, Facebook, Adobe, and .

The main advantage of this system is its simplicity. All you need is a list of monthly goals for each employee. The goals could be about improving customer satisfaction, process performance, or business performance. The only criterion for success is whether it helps the company grow over time.

OKRs

OKRs are a powerful component of the Silicon Valley approach. OKR stands for objectives and key results. The system provides a way of setting and tracking goals. Intel invented them, but some other successful companies use them too. At Google, OKRs are used to set objectives for each quarter and year. Google assesses the achievements at the end of each period.

The first step in setting OKRs is selecting your team's most important goal; the objective. The second step is to define key results that will help you achieve your objective. Break the objective down into smaller, more easily measurable, time-bound pieces.

Example: You want to improve company sales. A good objective would be: "Double our annual sales revenue by 2020." There are some guidelines for setting good objectives:

  • Challenging but not impossible. 
  • Specific enough for others on your team to understand what you mean
  • Measurable so you can track its progress over time
  • Time-bound so you can set a target date of completion 

After establishing an objective, teams must develop several key results. The company will use these results as benchmarks for achieving each goal. Each key result should align directly with one of these three questions: 

  • What do we want? 
  • Why do we want this? 
  • How do we measure success?

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

Example: You’re part of your company's marketing department. You’ve been tasked with helping double sales revenue by 2020. Your key results might look like this: 

  • “We will double our website traffic within six months" 
  • "Our lead generation campaign will increase conversion rates by 20% over three years."

Accountability-Based Performance Management Systems

Accountability-based performance management systems tend to be straightforward and uncomplicated. This doesn’t mean they’re the most effective. An accountability-based performance management system evaluates past performance. 

This type of system can be beneficial because it gives employees a clear understanding of what is expected of them at work. However, accountability-based systems don’t provide feedback that helps improve performance.

Development-Based Performance Management Systems

Development-based performance management systems focus on employee growth. The system is designed to help employees improve their skills and capabilities. Managers are responsible for evaluating their direct reports based on how they’ve improved over time.

For example, let's say that you're working in an IT department and your manager has given you access to a new tool for managing your projects. The first time she gives it to you, she tracks how long it takes you to learn how to use it. This will help her evaluate whether or not her teaching methods were effective. 

PerformYard lets companies set employee development goals and track progress in one place.

What are the key features of performance management systems?

The best performance management systems offer flexibility and functionality. Your company's performance management system should help you answer questions like:

  • Are we meeting our strategic goals?
  • If not, why? And how can we fix it?

PerformYard is a performance management software that can simplify the employee review process. The platform works whether your company uses a traditional system, a modern system, or OKRs.

Simplicity and accessibility keep managers and employees engaged in performance management. PerformYard’s flexibility ensures that you can adjust the process. Each adjustment will help you get total buy-in from every member of your organization. 

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

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7/18/2022
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Useful HR Tools for Performance Management in 2022

Do your HR tools for performance management help employees improve?

In one survey, just 14% of employees strongly agree that they were inspired to improve their performance after a review. When employees don’t improve, performance reviews are a waste of time for HR, management, and employee.

If you’re conducting reviews without seeing improvement, it’s time to rethink your process. In this article, we will explore four useful tools for performance management, You’ll learn how your HR team can use each strategy within your organization.

First, let’s define performance management tools and learn how HR influences the performance management process.

What Are Performance Management Tools?

When thinking about HR tools for performance management, consider three questions:

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. What will the measurement process look like?
  3. How will you support employees as they reach for professional goals?

Using the right tools, such as those offered in PerformYard software, will allow you to answer the first two questions. PerformYard is designed to support HR professionals as they move from a manual review process to a more formalized review process.

The platform can help you determine which metrics you're going to track and provide you with a streamlined process for tracking those metrics. Without a tool like PerformYard, it's very hard to keep track of all the review cycles, goals and data points for each employee.

Find out how a performance management software tool can make your job easier. Learn More

So, why is it so important to use the right performance management tools?

For starters, using the right tools can reduce employee turnover and improve organizational alignment.

Below, you’ll find information on four types of performance management tools:

  • Reviews and check-ins
  • Goal management
  • Continuous feedback
  • Performance management reporting

Once you understand the HR performance management process, you can use PerformYard to its full potential.

How Does HR Play a Role in Performance Management?

The role of HR in performance management is to facilitate the review process. HR develops performance management strategies that support the goals of the company and its individuals. HR can have a positive impact on employee motivation by understanding staff talents and finding ways for them to use those talents. 

A well-developed HR performance management process can also identify performance gaps and develop strategies to fill in those gaps.

HR is a mediator between management and employees. The HR department is responsible for creating a fair and accurate process. HR people also ensure employees feel heard and supported, and that management can track employee performance.

What is HR performance monitoring?

Not only does HR facilitate the review process, but the department can also help continuously monitor performance. That might be done through the use of a 90-day review for new employees or more informal check-in meetings with long-time employees.

A continuous strategy fosters an environment of learning and development. Through the use of performance monitoring, HR can correct assumptions or tweak processes mid-course instead of waiting months for the next official performance review.

Top HR Tools for Performance Management

HR tools for performance appraisals go beyond a one-time survey or a single yearly review. The best tools are used throughout the year to support the goals of the organization. 

Reviews and check-ins

Reviews, and their more informal counterpart, check-ins, evaluate an individual's performance. Reviews can identify strengths and weaknesses, allow management and HR to provide feedback, and help employees set new goals or adjust existing goals.

The more often reviews are conducted, the more likely employees will reach the goals they set.

That doesn’t mean you have to have weekly reviews. We know you’re busy. Instead, try these HR tools for performance management:

  • Annual reviews
  • 360 Reviews
  • Quarterly check-ins

Annual reviews

An annual review is the most comprehensive of the performance management tools and techniques. It should assess a wide variety of skills including:

  • Communication within teams and the organization as a whole
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Quality and accuracy of work
  • Punctuality and reliability, which also includes attendance
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Accomplishment of goals

An annual review may also include key performance indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your organization or the position. 

You might start the review process by asking each employee and manager to fill out a form. An annual review should also include a face-to-face meeting with transparent feedback and specific examples. The meeting should include time for the employee to ask questions and provide feedback of their own.

360 Reviews

360 Reviews can be conducted on their own at any time throughout the year. They are designed to give managers and employees a broader perspective on performance by enabling peers to provide feedback to colleagues.

These types of reviews are especially effective for teams in which managers don't work directly with employees on certain projects. They also work for organizations in which employees have cross-functional relationships with different departments.

HR can get the most out of the 360 review process by asking the right questions:

  • What does the employee do well? Share examples.
  • What can the employee improve on? Support with examples.
  • Share examples of how the employee lives up to x or y key values.

Conducting a 360 review is often the hardest part of the performance management process from an HR standpoint. You'll have to coordinate multiple reviews for every employee, remind people to fill out the reviews, and gather the data in one place. That's hard to do over email, but it's easy to do with PerformYard's 360 review management process.

PerformYard will send reminders to each employee who needs to fill out a review, track review completions, and compile the data into easy to read reports.

Find out how a performance management software tool can make your job easier. Learn More

Quarterly check-ins

Employee check-ins aren’t that different from traditional performance reviews. Both include meetings that are meant to discuss progress, goals, and share feedback. The difference is the frequency in which they occur.

Quarterly check-ins are conducted every three months. They feel less formal than an annual check-in, putting employees and managers at ease and enabling a free flow of ideas. 

Employees can sometimes feel like they’re being “checked on” instead of having someone who is just “checking in”. You can avoid micromanagement by establishing clear, meaningful goals. Be sure to provide employees with the autonomy to decide how they want to meet those goals.

Goal management

For reviews and check-ins to be successful, HR must track the goals set during the review process. PerformYard is one of the best HR tools for performance management in terms of tracking goals. The platform makes it easy for employees and managers to monitor goal progress and use this data in every review cycle.

HR should also promote continuous evaluation of those goals at the individual, departmental, and organizational levels. This process is a lot easier with a tool like PerformYard, which ties company goals to individual goals.

Different goal management techniques include:

  • Link employee goals to reviews
  • Cascading goals
  • Tracking KPIs

Link employee goals to reviews

It's not enough to review the performance of employees. You have to make improvement tangible. That’s why the role of HR in performance management also includes linking employee goals to reviews.

Helping employees set goals that are based on information from the review process ensures that their goals align with the company’s goals. This approach also clarifies expectations for employees.

Cascading goals

Cascading goals align the organization from the top to the bottom. They are broken down into clear deliverables that are personalized for every employee. Cascaded goals are easy for HR to document because there’s a clear line from one employee’s goals to the next. PerformYard's software platform is designed to make it easy to cascade goals.

hr tools for performance goals

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Managers and employees will always be able to see how their goals line up with organizational goals. When an employee checks off a goal, the organizational goal will update to show progress. This type of alignment ensures the entire company is moving in the same direction.

Tracking KPIs

KPIs are the way performance is measured. They can be used to see how well individual employees are performing or to evaluate the success of a particular departmental effort. 

For example, you might challenge one sales employee to increase the number of new contracts they sign within a certain timeframe. This is easily measured and can be compared to how many new contracts they signed before the goal was implemented.

Software is the best way to track KPIs. It allows you to combine goal-setting, the review process, and KPI tracking in one place. A software dashboard can help HR dive into performance and compare it to your business's core mission.

Continuous feedback

Continuous feedback includes any kind of feedback that is delivered regularly. Its broad definition allows companies to modify it to meet their needs. 

You could schedule structured reviews as part of the continuous feedback process, or you could use an informal system of check-ins that take place randomly.

A few different feedback options include:

  • 1:1 Feedback
  • Employee recognition

1:1 Feedback

The quality of the feedback you provide to employees is important. Sending a memo or a quick email isn’t enough. We recommend 1:1 feedback.

A one-on-one meeting can be as informal or as formal as you would like. Whether you’re meeting in the office or catching up over a cup of coffee, make sure your meeting has an agenda to ensure both parties stay on topic.

For example, you may want to determine if you want to have a goal-setting meeting or if you want to discuss a recent performance review. Once you determine the goal for the meeting, you can determine what information to bring and what types of questions you should ask.

It's also important to document these meetings. PerformYard has specific tools for meeting documentation, allowing managers and employees to track meeting discussions and refer back to them during annual reviews.

With regular one-on-one meetings, you can build a trusting relationship where both parties feel like they can relax, Meeting more often provides both parties with the ability to discuss topics that sometimes get overlooked, like professional development.

Employee recognition

Employees want to know that their hard work is appreciated, but don’t assume you have to pass out prizes. 

A genuine thank you card can have an even bigger impact than a gift card. If you do want to go the prize route, make sure you choose things your employees want. For example, most employees would love to earn an extra day off, while they are likely to roll their eyes if they find out they have won a free lunch.

Performance management reporting

Performance management reporting includes defining trackable metrics that define and measure the company's overall success. It also includes creating reports for teams, departments, and individuals

These reports allow you to record metrics that are relevant to company goals, identify activities that will help you grow, and pinpoint weaknesses that can be addressed. PerformYard reports can show where employees stand in relation to the rest of your team. 

These reports can be kept confidential, shared with managers, or shared with the whole team. It all depends on how you want your performance review process to function.

It is important to review the information in these reports neutrally. The information is not meant to be taken personally. Instead, it is meant to provide a snapshot of where the employee is so they can see where to go next.

Performance Management Software Can Help

Developing the right HR tools for performance management is a huge job, but it pays off. When you take the time to create an effective performance management process, your company will thrive because its employees feel challenged, supported, and motivated.

The right performance management software can make managing all the aspects of your strategy easier. 

Check out our case studies to see how PerformYard custom performance management software can meet your organizational needs.

Find out how a performance management software tool can make your job easier. Learn More

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7/12/2022
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Building a Business Case for Performance Management

It’s hard to make a business case for performance management when the CEO only thinks about old-school review processes. Some traditional performance review processes are so bad that they make performance worse one-third of the time

CEOs and CFOs think about how ineffective reviews can be. It’s understandable that they would hesitate to start a new performance management process. 

Modern performance management makes a difference. The right strategy with the right software can boost employee performance, but you’ll have to make a business case for it. CEOs and other leaders may not understand how important and impactful the right performance strategy can be.

This article can be your guide to making a business case for performance management. Use the facts and case studies below to build a convincing business case for performance management.

First, let’s talk about what good performance management looks like in a business.

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What Does Performance Management Look Like in a Business?

Bad performance management techniques are like a one-sided interview. The employee feels like they are being judged. These reviews are so bad that 22 percent of Millenials have admitted to calling in sick rather than face a review. Another 59% say that their manager wasn’t prepared to give meaningful feedback.

A performance review should feel collaborative. Feedback should be clear, the next steps should be laid out, and employees should have plenty of time to offer feedback of their own.

But, how does that work?

There are many types of performance appraisals you can try:

  • Check-ins create a more consistent time and space for discussions about long-term performance
  • 360 Feedback incorporates input from coworkers, as well as managers
  • Project-based reviews focus on employee contributions to specific projects

The key is selling your management team on the fact that your performance management process needs an overhaul

Here’s everything you need to know about building a business case for performance management.

Building a Business Case for Performance Management

Building a business case for performance management is all about presenting accessible statistics. These facts will show how the right strategies and software can impact your organization in positive ways.

A few benefits of overhauling your performance management strategy include:

  • Reduced administrative cost
  • Reduced turnover
  • Reduced liability
  • Improved organizational alignment
  • Reduced succession gaps
  • Improved workforce optimization

Reduced administrative cost

Poor management leads to lost productivity. It has been estimated that U.S. employees who aren’t engaged cost businesses and organizations a whopping $960 billion to $1.2 trillion per year.

A good performance management strategy saves money. This is true even if you pay for performance management software.

The right performance management software can reduce administrative costs. It does this by automating review distribution, collection, and recording. The software saves time, which saves money. Strong performance management systems motivate your employees to perform their best.

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Reduced turnover

Employee turnover is a serious problem. When an employee leaves their position, it costs over 20% of their annual salary on average to replace them. 

It pays to get to the bottom of employee discontent. An effective performance management strategy reveals problems before they arise. It also encourages employees to stay.

In 2012, Adobe had a revolutionary idea that led to a revolutionary approach to performance management. This approach influenced big-name companies from Microsoft to GE along the way. The companies chose not to continue slogging along with traditional performance appraisals.

Instead, they implemented regular performance check-ins. These check-ins provide employees with ongoing, real-time feedback. There are no forms to fill out and no deadlines. The companies can now respond to organizational or market adjustments more quickly. 

This Adobe performance management case study shows how Adobe achieved a 30% decrease in employee turnover. 

Crunch the numbers for your particular organization. You’ll be amazed at how much you will save when you choose a performance management strategy that works for your business.

Reduced liability

Decentralized performance reviews can lead to false statements appearing in employee reviews. That can spell real trouble for your organization. Managers may report false or confidential information to third parties without employee consent.

These mistakes can lead to costly litigation. The mistakes also reflect a lack of respect that can lead to decreased productivity among employees.

A formal approach to performance reviews fixes this. It features measurable objectives, self-assessments, and reliable data storage. These features reduce the chances of your organization experiencing a lawsuit. 

Improved organizational alignment

Do your employees understand what their performance reviews are trying to achieve? Chances are, they don’t. A measly 14% of employees understand the organization’s strategy.

This disconnect happens when organizations fail to use cascading goals.

Cascading goals strategy requires that you first identify organizational goals. Next, break them down so each member of the team can contribute to the same common goal. With cascading goals, everyone in the organization knows what to do, how to do it, and why they’re doing it. 

Everyone’s actions align with the goals of the organization.

Software for cascading goals does cost time and money. Employees who spend time on misaligned activities cost time and money too. You’ll save in the long run if you ensure the actions of every employee align with your organization’s big goals.

business case for performance reviews

Reduced succession gaps

Do your top performers know who they are? Do they know that you have plans to promote them in the future?

Without a clear system for performance reviews, you aren’t communicating your appreciation. That comes with expensive consequences. Nearly 80% of employees who quit their jobs say that a lack of appreciation is one of the major reasons they left.

Top performers who don’t stick around can leave a huge hole in your business. For example, executives can cost over 200% of their annual salary to replace. 

Telling your top performers that you have plans to advance their career path helps prepare them for leadership positions. Employees are more likely to stay in organizations when they see a clear path to leadership positions. This will reduce the costs associated with searching for and interviewing new candidates.

Improved workforce optimization

Some business leaders and managers fall into the trap of thinking that performance management is a waste of time. They think that time would be better spent on letting employees do their jobs. In fact, the right performance management strategies optimize the time your employees spend on work.

The key is choosing performance reviews that improve workforce optimization.

They are reinventing performance management at Deloitte. Their case study demonstrates that performance management doesn’t have to be a lengthy, complicated process. Instead, they ask four questions — questions managers can answer. Deloitte now spends less time than ever on reviews. The company does conduct more often though and has more accurate data as a result.

What Are the Stages of Performance Management?

Once you’ve built your case for performance management, it’s time to show the leadership team exactly how a new strategy is implemented.

Check out the three-step process below. It will help you choose performance management tools that get leaders excited about changes..

Choosing a performance management process

Nine out of ten managers are dissatisfied with how their companies conduct annual performance reviews. When deciding on a new performance appraisal strategy, ask for manager input. Discuss the five modern alternatives to annual performance reviews. Determine which one your team thinks will best support individual, team, and organizational goals.

No matter what process you choose, make a plan to check in on how it’s serving your business. If the performance management plan isn’t supporting your employees, try something different.

Implementing a performance management software

No performance management process is complete without the right software. The software allows you to manage goals and check-in with employees according to the process you have chosen. Performance management platforms also create reports. These reports allow you to compare employee performance over time. The reports also provide data to track the effectiveness of the performance reviews themselves.

business performance management reports

PerformYard is a favorite among leadership teams, managers, and employees. Its flexible, streamlined system makes it easy for everyone to use the performance review process. The platform can be slimmed down for simple annual reviews or built up for more complex strategies. 

PerformYard’s visual reporting makes it easy for every member of the team to see how the results of each review impact your organization.

Show your C-Suite why PerformYard is worth it. Learn More

Getting buy-in from managers and employees

There are two ways to get manager buy-in when choosing a new performance management process. You can start by gathering manager input when selecting a new process. Next, be sure to show them the process with a demo.

The best way to get managers and employees on board with the new process is to let them experience it for themselves. 

Managers will be glad to give up the old way of doing reviews once they see the benefits of modern performance management. These benefits include clearer expectations, more aligned goals, and an open dialog about progress. 

You should also reward employees after the reviews are complete. Clear data will help you identify top performers and reward them for their efforts. The reward will make them look forward to performance reviews instead of dreading them.

A revamped performance management process may be what your organization needs. Show your leadership team the statistics and case studies from this article. It will help you build an irresistible business case for performance management. 

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6/30/2022
5 Perks of an Online Performance Management System

An online performance management system take the hassle out of formal performance reviews. That matters because most performance review systems are a hassle. According to SHRM, 95% of managers say they’re dissatisfied with the performance management process. 

The process becomes more complex as organizations increase review frequency and add employees. Not only is it hard to conduct the reviews, but also to document the reviews—a critical part of the process for employee performance management and compliance.

Online performance management systems like PerformYard can help.

PerformYard can help you upgrade from a manual review process. Learn More

What is an Online Performance Management System?

An online performance appraisal system is a digital platform that gives HR leaders, managers, and employees all-the-time access to performance management information. Tools like PerformYard help companies conduct and document performance management meetings while tracking goals and progress. 

Most of these systems exist in the cloud, accessible wherever employees and their managers may be. Remote access has become a major benefit of these systems since the shift to remote work, but there is a range of other benefits that companies and HR leaders gain through the use of an online performance management system.

What Are the Benefits of an Online Performance Management System? 

Traditional performance reviews rely on tedious administrative processes to track, document, and communicate performance review information. HR leaders have to remind managers to fill out reviews. The HR person may have to collect reviews in their email or a cloud storage drive. It's hard to see data from all the reviews in one place, which means it's difficult to gain any insights.

Online performance management systems remove that administrative burden and provide additional benefits. 

1. Promote a more transparent company culture

Online performance management systems allow broad access to information about employee performance—and how it aligns with company performance. This transparency ensures everyone knows how they and their colleagues contribute to company success. More transparent company culture is created through:

Continuous feedback

Though some companies still conduct formal reviews annually, online employee performance management systems allow for continuous feedback throughout the year. Continuous feedback is a best practice contributing to organizational success. Managers, employees, and HR leaders have 24/7/365 access to feedback on employee performance.

Clear goals

Having an in-person performance management conversation is a great idea, but only if you can document the discussion. Leaving it to chance that both manager and employee will recall specifics leads to miscommunication. Online performance management systems track goals to ensure everyone understands what needs to be accomplished.

PerformYard's digital performance management system displays goals on employee dashboards. Every employee and manager can see goal progress throughout the year and use the data as a reference point in meetings.

online performance management goals

Frequent feedback

Employees need frequent feedback to perform effectively. Online employee performance appraisal systems provide a convenient, seamless, and accessible way to document that feedback. Some companies default to using email to provide feedback, but that approach fails to tie feedback to the overall review process.

In PerformYard, it's easy to give feedback within the platform. That feedback is stored in the employee's dashboard where it's available to view during the employee's annual or quarterly review.

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2. Align individual goals with company goals

In some organizations, employees may work hard but fail to align their work with company goals. That’s a waste of resources—both time and money. Online performance management systems ensure that individual and company goals are aligned

Real-time goal setting helps employees work on tasks that support department, division, and organizational performance. Dashboards with progress tracking allow employees and managers to monitor performance and make course adjustments. Reports provide quick visual insights into progress.

Cascading goals

Optimum performance management happens when goals cascade from the top of the organization down to the front lines. 

  1. The organization’s strategic objectives drive goal-setting for senior leaders. 
  2. Senior leaders create and assign goals to their direct reports, and so on, down through the organization. 

Cascading goals can also be viewed horizontally to quickly visualize and track interdepartmental dependencies. 

Goal progress tracking

Online performance management systems provide a clear line of sight into individual and organizational performance, visible to everyone in the organization. Traditional methods of goal progress tracking are often siloed and not up-to-date. Online tracking provides visibility, real-time reporting, and easy access for all. 

3. Get manager buy-in on the review process

We admit it; performance review and evaluation are not at the top of most managers’ lists of the things they enjoy most. In many organizations, there are good reasons for that. Performance management can be burdensome— especially when managers are responsible for multiple employees. 

Online performance management systems reduce the friction of performance management, leading to manager buy-in and enhanced value for all.

Email notifications

Email notifications help keep managers on top of the deliverables and dates associated with managing their staff members and providing regular feedback. PerformYard updates employees and managers with email notifications every time a review is due, as seen below.

performance management system notifications

Simplicity

Online performance management systems automate the administrative elements of the performance management process. These systems ensure documentation and provide easy access to information when needed.

PerformYard is designed to turn your existing review process into a simple system. The platform doesn't force you into a complex performance review system; it makes it easier to run your existing system. Click here to learn how easy it is to set up PerformYard.

4. Streamline review scheduling

Coordinating the calendars for two people—let alone two dozen—can be challenging. Online performance management systems use automation to take the complexity out of the review scheduling process. No more struggling to run reviews on work anniversaries

Using an online performance management platform like PerformYard relieves the administrative burdens of needing to remember work anniversaries and schedules around them. The platform will always let you know when an employee is ready for their next review.

Track multiple review cycles in one dashboard 

What are performance management systems good for if they don't make your job easier? The more employees you have to track, the more challenging the process can be. Tracking multiple review cycles in one dashboard lets you quickly see which reviews are coming.

5. Birds-eye view of employee performance

Managers often struggle to track performance across teams. 

  • Who’s contributing the most? 
  • Who’s lagging behind? 
  • Who needs course correction? 
  • Who needs more kudos? 

An online performance management system gives you a birds-eye view that you can see at any time, wherever you may be. The reports will highlight top performers and reveal which employees need help.

Managers can see historical review data

Having access to historical data can help track employee progress. It can also be a significant aid when a manager is taking on a new employee or taking over another department. With traditional systems managers would need to request and access hard-copy files that may not be complete, thorough, or up-to-date.

Managers can see employee metrics in a report

Employee metrics can help you track individual employee performance. These metrics can include goal completions, sales metrics, or anything else you can dream up. Metrics and reports also give you insights into how employee performance may vary. You can compare employees across teams or compare one department to another.

You’ll have best practices to share with others and see who may need additional training, resources, and support to improve performance. 

PerformYard helps you track and monitor the following metrics in reports:

  • Reviews completed
  • Employee ratings
  • Goals attained
  • OKRs
  • KPIs
  • 360-reviews
  • Self-assessments
  • Exit interview information
  • ...and more.

What Are the Best Online Performance Management Systems? 

When choosing an online performance management system some important criteria stand out: simplicity, flexibility, and the ability to tie into your existing review process are key. 

PerformYard offers this functionality and more. Whether you need a simple solution for annual reviews or a platform that can help you manage more complex performance management needs, PerformYard has the features and flexibility you need. 

PerformYard can help you upgrade from a manual review process. Learn More

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6/24/2022
2022 Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart, Tips & Timeline

Performance management systems focus on the most important resource in a company; the people. Yet, a study by Deloitte found that over 50% of companies surveyed did not feel their performance management system was worth the time and effort.

This statistic shows HR professionals must be thoughtful about performance management. What are you measuring? How are you measuring it? Why does it matter?

A well-designed performance evaluation process flowchart helps organizations clearly define goals and expectations while providing a path for employees to improve.

This article contains  resources to help you develop your performance evaluation process. Start with the flowchart then work your way down through the detailed explanation.

What are the Steps of the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart?

performance evaluation process flowchart

PerformYard makes it easy to start a performance management process. Learn More

1. Setting goals

First, you must clearly articulate the responsibilities and core functions of each role in your organization. According to SHRM’s Guidelines for Establishing Effective Performance Goals, the goals you set for employees must be:

  • Clearly defined
  • Directly linked to organizational goals and values
  • Measurable and reasonable
  • Targeted – no more than three goals at a time

Defining and tracking goals can be difficult if you're relying on emails and Google Docs. PerformYard allows companies team to define and track their individual goals in a dashboard. You can tie employee goals to company wide goals. The software simplifies the process for managing goals  throughout the year, and has functions for documenting conversations between employee and manager.

2. Quarterly check-ins

Meeting one-on-one with employees every three months gives you a window into their strengths, weaknesses, and needs. In these check-ins, you will discuss short-term goals for your employee, defining milestones and benchmarks for success.

Check-ins are also a great time to offer feedback on how employees can improve their performance and offer coaching to meet any gaps in their skills.

3. Post Check-in Review

After the check-in, the manager and employee should fill out a survey detailing how the process went and how it could improve. You can collect this feedback via a brief used to refine the process for the next quarterly review.

4. End of Year Review

The end-of-year review, often tied to compensation, is a time for employees and managers to review long-term goals for professional development and set goals for the coming year. These longer-term goals can align with job functions or relate to personal growth. 

While the end-of-year review tends to reflect on the previous year’s performance, the most effective end-of-year reviews are future-focused. Think about how the employee can improve in the coming year.

5. HR Evaluation of Review Process

Because the performance review process often relies on qualitative performance assessments, HR needs to evaluate how assessments are performed and how employees are rated. Evaluator bias can unfairly impact an employee’s professional growth and the opportunities they are afforded. Including HR oversight in your performance evaluation process can prevent bias from negatively impacting your organizational culture and impeding growth.

PerformYard helps HR professionals track performance management. Learn More

What is the Purpose of the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart?

The employee and manager can both uncover valuable information by following the performance management process flowchart. For the employee, performance evaluations are an opportunity to get feedback on their performance and clarify the expectations they must meet.  

For the company, the performance evaluation process measures the value of an employee’s work. The organization can use the results of an employee’s performance evaluation to inform salary negotiations and identify candidates for promotion.

HR can use negative evaluations to identify employees who need additional training or referrals for performance improvement plans. When managers flag deficiencies in performance in the evaluation process, they can plan for the next steps including coaching, retraining, demotion, or even firing.  

Example Performance Review Process Timeline

A robust performance review process combines multiple elements:

  • Scheduled annual and quarterly reviews
  • Goal setting
  • Coaching
  • Ongoing informal feedback and evaluation

Each of these elements contributes to a growth-oriented work environment that elevates performance by encouraging employees to develop their skills.

Annual Reviews

Annual reviews are the most common type of performance review. These reviews can be scheduled around company-wide evaluation periods or tied to individual employees’ work anniversaries.

In these reviews, employees and managers discuss all that has been accomplished in the previous year, highlight opportunities for improvement and create a plan to meet goals for the next year.

Disadvantages of Annual Reviews

While annual reviews have an important role to play in your overall performance review process, they aren’t enough on their own. Engaging in meaningful and productive performance management requires frequent evaluations and feedback opportunities.

Leaders in large organizations may feel there isn’t enough time or resources to review employees more often. Failing to invest in your organization’s continuous improvement may save time in the short term but it will cost you the opportunity to increase productivity in the long term.

Another disadvantage of annual reviews is that, instead of fostering ongoing dialogue between employees and managers, yearly evaluations feel like a final grade.

How can a manager accurately measure an entire year of performance for even one of their direct reports?

What is the value in telling an employee in December that they failed to meet expectations in June?

Research shows that these summative evaluations can cause real problems for retention. In one poll, 85% of Americans said that a negative review would be enough to make them start looking for another job.  

A lot can change in an organization in a year. Organizational changes can impact how an employee’s performance is perceived and measured, even if the employee hasn’t changed how they do their job. How do you evaluate employee performance if the goals are always changing?

Examples of this type of organizational change include:

Changes in the organizational structure can result in the realignment of teams and direct reports.

Introducing new software can expose weaknesses in technical competence that can negatively impact performance.

Shifts in organizational culture can change what skills and qualities are valued and which are to be discouraged.

When to Use Annual Reviews

Annual reviews work best when manager and employee work to set goals for the year and establish a plan for reaching those goals with defined milestones and measures of success.

These reviews are also an opportunity to revisit quarterly evaluations and discuss further opportunities for growth. Finally, this more comprehensive performance review should give HR the information it needs to determine salary increases or award other performance-based incentives.

Annual reviews work best when the employee and manager can see data from all the 1:1s, quarterly reviews and 360 reviews that happened throughout the year. Without this data, annual reviews turn into an exercise in remembering what happened. PerformYard stores all data from all review cycles in every employee's profile.

This data makes it easy to conduct annual reviews based on the data from the past year.

Quarterly Check-Ins

Quarterly reviews are opportunities for managers and their direct reports to discuss short-term goals and opportunities for growth. These performance reviews offer more useful feedback than annual reviews simply because they happen more often.

When employees and managers check in regularly and discuss expectations, this open dialogue creates an environment where employees feel supported. Plus, employees who feel that their managers are invested in their success are more engaged and committed to growth.    

Continuous Feedback

Quarterly and continuous feedback can indeed be resource-intensive, but these frequent interactions are essential to improving productivity and elevating performance. Not to mention, no employee wants to wait a year to find out their manager has noticed that they have been doing their job wrong. Why would a manager be willing to wait months to address something that could be corrected today?

Some employees want to do a better job but are afraid to ask for help. They may be afraid to ask a manager or coworker for help because it may make them appear incompetent. Without timely feedback and support, these employees will continue to make the same mistakes.

When managers offer constructive feedback to employees, they empower them with greater clarity about expectations for their performance. The feedback empowers employees to ask for additional guidance.  

Implementing the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart

Managing a robust performance evaluation process is simple if you have the right tools. PerformYard’s Performance Management software makes it easy to support employee development.

The simple dashboards show a range of performance data in one place, from annual reviews to quarterly goals, self-evaluations, and competencies. With this comprehensive tool, managers can easily track performance and generate reports and data that support HR decision-making.

Performance management is more than just a tool to evaluate success or failure. With effective performance management process steps in place, you can encourage ongoing dialogue, clarify expectations, and develop your employees by encouraging personal growth. The process ensures employees and managers continue to align their work with your organization’s values and goals.

Start your performance management process with the right tools. Learn More

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4/23/2022
The Perk of Modern Performance Management

The landscape of perks is shifting. Today’s HR leaders do more than add a list of perks to their offer letters, they design employee experiences.

The Perks People Want

The landscape of perks is shifting. Today’s HR leaders do more than add a list of perks to their offer letters, they design employee experiences.

This new world is bringing together compensation, benefits, perks, culture, role design, style of work and much more to create a comprehensive package that is more closely aligned with the priorities of people today.

That’s because people are less swayed by all the extras adjacent to their work; office spaces, catering, on-site massage, etc, and more focused on the experience of the work itself; personal growth, strong working relationships, impact on their organization and the world.

It’s not uncommon to hear a parent or grandparent say something like, “I can’t believe she left Fooble, the benefits were amazing! and to join a 5 person non-profit!?!”

Today’s best jobs offer people a meaningful and fulfilling professional life with the flexibility to also pursue a fulfilling personal life.

So then how can HR deliver professional fulfillment and better compete for top talent?

What is Professional Fulfillment

Professional fulfillment is a vibe, and no one passes the vibe check better than WeWork. Yes they’ve got their issues, but their slogans speak to the modern workforce better than anyone else. 

WeWork offices are plastered with neon signs like, “Do what you love,” “Make a life, not just a living,” “Can’t believe this is my job,” “The future is yours to create,” “Pursuing my life’s work,” “Don’t just exist.” 

What WeWork has identified in people is a desire to do what they’re good at, and passionate about. A desire to pursue work that has meaning and impact. A desire for strong professional relationships. A desire to grow and try new things. A desire to be seen and recognized.

It can be tempting to write off these ideas and think they’re reserved for people who start a YouTube channel, or quit the corporate grind to found a dog rescue, but this is the new expectation for more and more people at more and more jobs.

Despite the loftiness of “professional fulfillment” it is easier to support than you might think.

The Performance Management Perk

Helping your people find professional fulfillment at your organization starts with good communication.

People who have clarity on what success looks like, can see the impact of their work, understand their trajectory, and feel heard by their manager are far more likely to feel fulfilled at work.

Enter modern performance management.

Performance management has evolved from a compliance exercise to a foundational part of the employee experience. HR and leadership are becoming increasingly involved in ensuring employees get what they need from their managers. 

While traditional performance management was focused on ratings and rankings, today’s processes are as much focused on inspiring quality performance discussions, increasing the frequency of feedback, driving alignment and uncovering opportunities for development.

All of this comes from prioritizing and making time for conversations when an organization adopts modern performance management practices. It’s not enough to tell managers that this matters. Today organizations direct these activities from the top to ensure the best employee experience for everyone.

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2/28/2022
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Setting Up PerformYard is Easy—Here’s Why

Implementing performance management software is simple with PerformYard. Hear from our Director of Customer Success on how we make sure you are successful during implementation, training, and growth.

When looking into performance management software, many people feel overwhelmed by the thought of implementation. 

How do you translate your process into a system? How do you set everything up so that it’s intuitive to use? And what about training employees? 

There’s a lot to consider. And because performance management touches every person in your organization, the stakes are high. How can you ensure a successful implementation process? 

We asked PerformYard’s Director of Customer Success, Lauren Staley, what her team does to help our customers get onboarded smoothly and efficiently. 

Implementation

PerformYard is simple to set up, so you can do it on your own if that’s your style, but you won’t ever be left without support. Every new customer gets a dedicated Customer Success Manager who’s an expert on our software. They strategize with each customer to figure out how their individual process can be set up in PerformYard.

“We want our customers to feel empowered to use the software for their unique needs,” said Lauren. 

The first step of the implementation process is a kickoff meeting where your Customer Success Manager. In the kickoff meeting, your Customer Success Manager will ask questions to get a detailed understanding of your current process. Our Customer Success Team sees a wide variety of approaches, ranging from simple annual reviews to complex strategies with check-ins goals and continuous feedback.

Your Customer Success Manager can then collaborate with you to create the roadmap to launch PerformYard and invite all your employees to the platform. This can include everything from reviewing relevant functionality to scheduling training.

The primary steps to getting PerformYard launched are building your forms, configuring your cycles and adding employees to the system. 

Training for the Entire Organization

Once you’ve nailed down your process in PerformYard, your Customer Success Manager will discuss a training plan with you.

Training at PerformYard isn’t a one size fits all approach—we do what’s best for your unique organization and situation. Your training plan will be catered to the priorities of your performance management process. We’ll also consider if any elements of your process are specific to different teams, roles, or even regions to determine how the training should be presented.

Your training plan will then be catered to the priorities of your performance management process. We’ll also consider if there are any elements of your process that are specific to different teams, roles, or even regions to determine how the training should be presented.

Our Customer Success Managers often host live training sessions for entire organizations. These trainings are recorded in order to train new hires who join an organization after PerformYard has been adopted. That way every employee has a training resource that’s not only about PerformYard but about how your organization uses PerformYard. In addition to video training, we also have a robust support site, handouts on specific features, and other training resources for our customers. 

Ongoing Support at No Additional Cost

Even after customers have fully implemented the software, PerformYard offers ongoing support at no additional cost.

Your Customer Success Managers will stay with you and is committed to the success of your process. If you’re collecting feedback from employees, we can collaborate on improvements to make your process even better before the next cycle.

Lauren shared that “all our customers are working on meaningful projects and often there is a lot riding on a successful implementation. I love giving them the confidence that comes with having a partner who has been there before.”

If you decide to roll out additional features or make changes to your performance management process down the road, we’ll continue to be there to help you get the most out of PerformYard. 

We’re also here for quick questions or when challenges arise. You won’t need to worry about logging cases or chatting with a bot, support at PerformYard means working with a Customer Success Manager who knows you.

What Our Customers Are Saying

As you can see, we believe in excellent support and make implementation go off without a hitch. But don’t just take our word for it . . . Here's what our customers are saying.

“The hands-on direction, support, and lift received from our Customer Success Manager was beyond any experience I've had with vendors. He was a collaborative teammate from point of contact to roll-out and constantly went above and beyond to ensure I met the milestones set for implementation and had the answers I needed for last minute changes.” 

"I can't say enough great things about our Customer Success Manager. We had a complex review process and she enthusiastically helped with any questions we had. Not only is PerformYard a great product (especially because of the customization aspect), but it's the incredible customer support that made PerformYard stand out for us." 

“Our Customer Success Manager really strives to know us as a company and provide a tool that allows us to develop our employees. PerformYard has become a great tool for our organization and I truly view our Customer Success Manager as a crucial partner." 

“Our Customer Success Manager was fantastic and made it so that the implementation of PerformYard was seamless. She took the time to meet with us to ensure we understood everything, would go more in depth if we had any questions, etc. I appreciated the help through the set up of PerformYard, as well as the resources they have on their website that provide step by step instructions.”

If you’d like to see more examples of how PerformYard accommodates our customers, check out these case studies


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2/24/2022
Free Employee Goal Setting Template

Our free employee goal setting template will help employees set clear, effective, and inspiring goals to pursue and provide them with a wealth of goal-setting knowledge.

Need to help employees set and manage goals, but unsure where to begin? Download our free employee goal setting template.

Why Goal Setting Is Critical for Organizations

Goal setting is one of the most important tools that an organization can use to create change in the workplace at the individual, team, or organizational level.  

Well-set goals are the key to ensuring that change is enacted within an organization. It isn’t enough to express a desire for an outcome without setting some sort of goal to achieve it. Goals must be set and progress must be measured.

Tips for Effective Goal Setting

Setting effective goals can be difficult—especially if you’re not used to setting goals frequently. The tips below will help you to create an effective goal-setting strategy. 

1. Specify Goal-Setting Criteria

When your employees and their managers sit down to set their goals, it’s critical that they understand the criteria their goals should meet.

Criteria will vary from organization to organization, but any criteria set should ensure that goals will lead to positive change within the workforce.

Ineffective goal setting leaves you with unfocused goals that are difficult to measure and track. When criteria is specified, it’s easier for managers and employees to set realistic goals that will lead to improvement and development.

2. Ensure That Goals Are Challenging

Calibrating the difficulty of goals can be complicated. Employees will want to achieve, but they may be concerned that setting goals that are too difficult may set them up for failure. They may try to set more conservative goals for themselves in order to consistently hit their goals. 

This can be tempting, especially if your organization makes critical business decisions based on how your employees hit or miss the goals they set. However, it is important to remember that the end result of effective goal setting is positive change. 

Conservative goal setting often leads to a continuation of the status quo. If a recruiter made 20 hires last year without breaking a sweat and sets their new goal as making an additional 20 hires, it's likely that no change or employee growth will occur by achieving that goal.

Goals need to be challenging. They should push employees slightly beyond their current skill set. 

Conversely, these goals should still be attainable and realistic. If an employee worked diligently one year and made 100% of their target for the year, doubling their target for next year may not be realistic.

This calibration takes time and is best done through partnership between the employee and their manager.

3. Set Up a Process to Track Goals

Goals need to be tracked throughout the process. And tracking should be more than simply checking in at the end of the process to determine whether or not the goal was achieved. This does not set up the employee for success.

There are several different ways to track goals, but the most important thing is to make sure the system you use is used across your entire organization. 

If one team is using Excel spreadsheets, another Google Docs, and another the Notes app, it will be difficult for HR to compile everything when review time rolls around. Here are two options for setting up a system to track goals across an organization:

Manual Methods

HR can implement a manual system across the company to set and track goals. An example of this would be spreadsheet software, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. 

Each employee could have an individual spreadsheet that they and their manager had access to. These sheets would then be saved within a team folder that is then nestled within an organizational folder. These sheets could be easily accessed by those who need the information (managers, HR) while being housed in a centralized location.

Dedicated Performance Management Software

Building out multiple spreadsheets, making sure everyone has the right permissions, and following up on progress via email can quickly get complicated.

Performance management software lets employees set and track goals, complete frequent check-ins and formal reviews, and solicit and complete feedback in one dedicated, centralized platform.

With performance management software, employee goal progression can easily be turned into clean charts and dashboards. This provides executives, management, and team members the understanding of where employees are at in relation to their goals.

4. Frequently Revisit and Reassess Progress

Imagine that you had a goal of saving $10,000 this year. You checked your bank account on January 1, then didn’t check it again until December 31.

What are the odds that you saved that $10,000? Probably almost zero.

Just as it's difficult to hit financial goals without checking in on your progress, the same is true for organizational goals. It’s important for managers and employees to discuss goal progress regularly. 

Frequent check-ins will also help employees recalibrate their goals. Maybe the original goal was to create 48 email campaigns in 6 months, but after the first monthly check-in, the team determined this was unrealistic, and the goal was altered to 24.

Goals are dynamic concepts that ultimately drive positive change. If they are no longer driving that change, they are no longer effective. Use these frequent check-ins to make sure the goals are serving employees and their development. 

Gain insight into goal progress with PerformYard. Learn More

These tips will help you create an effective goal setting process for your organization. But the best way to create any goal-setting process is by setting really effective goals. 

The power of goals starts with what you choose and how you word them. Getting that step right is necessary to see any value from your goal-setting process.

Download our free employee goal setting template to get a step-by-step guide of how to set clear, effective, and inspiring goals.

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2/22/2022
A Playbook for Aligning Employee Goals with Corporate Objectives

Goal alignment in performance management ensures that everyone in the organization, at all levels, are working together to accomplish the same business objectives.

When employee goals aren’t aligned with corporate objectives, employees may be working hard and may appear to the casual observer to be exceptional at their jobs, but what are they working to accomplish? 

Goal alignment in performance management ensures that everyone in the organization, at all levels, are working together to accomplish the same business objectives.

What Goal Alignment Should Accomplish

Goal alignment should promote shared values, provide greater transparency into what’s happening at an organizational level, and provide context to help employees to define individual and team goals.

PerformYard is designed to help companies align organizational goals. Learn More

Promoting Shared Values

Employees don’t—or shouldn’t—work in isolation. They should understand what the organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives are. 

Why does the organization exist? What does success look like? How do their individual efforts contribute to that success?

Goal alignment helps promote shared values by making sure employees’ contributions have an impact in ways that are meaningful and measurable. 

Shared alignment leads to stronger collaboration across departments and teams and creates a sense of camaraderie that can increase morale, reduce turnover, and boost productivity.

Providing Greater Transparency

All employees need insight into how they’re doing. That insight can come through direct feedback they receive from their managers, along with information about how their team, department, and organization as a whole is performing. 

Goal alignment offers greater transparency in order for employees to see the impact that their efforts—and the efforts of their colleagues—are having. Providing greater transparency ensures that goals and initiatives are taken up by everybody in the company.

Providing Context

Most employees can’t achieve success independently. They work as part of teams to achieve specific goals or objectives. 

Goal alignment helps employees understand how their individual work contributes to team and organizational goals. This context helps employees to feel more satisfied with their work and become more effective.

How to Align Personal Goals With Organizational Goals

Effectively aligning personal goals with organizational goals requires a few steps to help ensure understanding, support, and engagement. Here are three keys to aligning personal goals with organizational goals:

1. Set Cascading Goals

Starting with organizational goals, the first step in aligning personal to organizational goals is to set cascading goals that will flow down through the organization. This can be something that is done once, twice, or even four times a year. Leadership sets the direction for the organization, then departments, teams, and individuals set their goals based on that direction.

Goal Alignment in Performance Management

Betterment, an investment firm, found this approach to be extremely effective. They focused on just two overarching company goals:

  1. Grow net deposits
  2. Increase efficiency

CEO Joe Stein said, “We thought it was perfect, having one revenue-driving metric and one efficiency metric. It was a clear signal to the team what was most important.”

Objectives were broken down across teams, each with 1-3 goals that tied back to the objectives. Teams came back with their own numbers that were aligned to the overarching plan.

2. Track Everything in One Place

As noted earlier, providing employees with the ability to see how they’re doing on an ongoing basis is an important part of goal alignment. After cascading goals are set, set up a system to track individual, team, and organizational goals all in one place. 

Tracking everything in one place ensures that metrics are accurate and everybody is looking at the same numbers. It also helps employees remember what the organizational goals are and how their contributions are making an impact.

3. Make Metrics Available

Making metrics available for everyone to see helps every employee understand how they and their team are progressing towards company goals. Betterment did this in a couple of different ways. They sent out a regular email to all employees sharing current numbers and also posted top-line metrics on walls for the whole company to see.

This broad level of awareness “built in the ethic that there was no opportunity for teams to deviate from their goals to help another toward theirs,” said Stein. Instead, making metrics available created “a shared sense that it was all hands on deck to make sure everyone got where they needed to go.” 

The more robust the system a company has to track metrics, the easier it can be to make these metrics available to everybody. 

But even without an automated system, companies can simply email updates to employees or highlight them in recurring company meetings. 

The most important thing is that  metrics are widely and regularly made available to all employees in order for them to see how they (and the company) are doing.

Case Study: Goal Alignment in Performance Management

So what does aligning employee goals with corporate objectives look like?

InvestiNet is a full-service accounts receivable management firm. Bob Collins, the company owner, wanted all of his 100 employees to consider InvestiNet the best place they had ever worked. He recognized performance management as offering an opportunity to align work around company goals and individual strengths.

InvestiNet used a tiered system of diverse and frequently updated goals. At the highest level, the company will set thematic goals. These have a period of about 6 months and set the direction for the company. They include both core success metrics and transformation projects.

Individuals will then have semester goals. These set special focus areas for employees over the next 90 to 120 days. Everyone has up to 3 semester goals.

In addition to semester goals, individuals will also have 1-2 job specific goals. These define what the organization expects from the employee’s position over the course of a year.

Finally, everyone has at least one professional development goal. The focus of development is almost always “strengths based.” Occasionally someone will spend some time improving on weaknesses, but most often these goals are about doubling down on what already makes you special. 

Weekly touchpoints between employees and their managers focus on what employees were working on and how their work supported their goals. In these meetings, any misalignment is addressed with a focus on making a connection between daily work and the broader organizational purpose.

An annual review included employee self-appraisal with their managers’ review, but the approach they take is a litter different, Collins said, “The question is ‘did we, the organization, have you working on the right things and what were our results?’” 

InvestiNet’s process illustrates how companies can strategically drive better business results by aligning individual goals with team and organizational goals. Doing so gives employees insight into what’s important to the company and how their efforts can make a positive difference.

PerformYard is designed to help companies align organizational goals. Learn More

Resources for Goal Alignment

Looking for additional resources? Here are some resources we recommend to start your search on goal alignment. 

Betterment Tested Three Performance Management Systems So You Don't Have To

What are Cascading Goals & How to Use Them

What Is Organizational Alignment? (And How to Achieve It)

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2/17/2022
How Apple Does Performance Management (And Ideas for You to Consider)

Apple’s performance management techniques can provide inspiration for your own strategy. Here are a few elements that Apple has incorporated into its performance management strategy.

Many people dream of working at Apple—and for good reason. Aside from providing discounts on its products, Apple works consistently to increase employee retention and prioritize its workers.

So how does Apple help its employees feel valued? One way is through a strong performance management process. 

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t make it easy to recreate their process. The company mostly keeps its performance review system under wraps, but they’ve let a few secrets slip to give some ideas for your own performance management process.

Streamline your performance management process with PerformYard. Learn More

Apple’s Performance Management Practices

Apple’s performance management process relies on strong communication to create a snapshot of how every employee contributes to the organization.

It includes three main features that set it apart:

360 Annual Performance Reviews

Apple’s annual performance review process includes a semi-annual review and an end-of-year review. Each employee is reviewed by three or four executives, in addition to being reviewed by direct reports and peers, making it a 360 process. This helps Apple to get a broader view of every employee’s performance, creating new perspectives on how each employee impacts the organization and where improvements can be made.

Employee performance is measured against three categories: teamwork, innovation, and results.

Based on those categories, employees will receive one of three ratings: exceeds expectations, met expectations, or needs improvement.

Not only does this help employees understand how management and other team members believe they’re doing, but it also helps HR determine skills gaps among employees.

Managers can then work to help underperforming employees develop the skills needed to excel, or HR can focus on recruitment efforts to find new employees with skills that are missing among current employees.

Employees' annual raises are directly tied to their performance reviews, ranging from 0-8% of their current salary. 

Feedback

Apple is tight-lipped about their specific feedback practices, but based on our research, we’ve found that feedback is a key component of Apple’s performance appraisal system.

Apple incorporates continuous feedback, and employees receive feedback once a week. Whether feedback is delivered through check-ins or written in their performance management system, continuous feedback provides insight into performance and helps Apple employees understand where they can improve in their daily efforts.

Cascading Goals

Apple’s performance management strategy focuses on how individuals meet organizational goals through the use of cascading goals.

Cascading goals begin with the company's ultimate vision and are reinterpreted for every department and employee to ensure individual and team performance are aligned with those goals.

What Apple Employees Are Saying

Communication, employee engagement, and high levels of achievement are all important to Apple’s performance management process. 

Their strategies sound good on paper, but only Apple employees can tell us whether these methods actually work. Let’s take a look at a few anonymous Glassdoor reviews to see what Apple employees are saying.

Pros

"Everything is driven toward a common vision that our fearless leaders cast extremely well.”

"Others are so incredibly supportive. You are surrounded by people who care to be the change in the world and value your well-being."

"Most of the people at Apple are very smart, but luckily, not in an intimidating way. Everyone has been very welcoming and willing to let me in."

Cons

"Lack of transparency between various organizations can cause unnecessary overlap in work or common shifts in priority."

"Promotion and progression are completely dependent on your manager's desire to be your champion, which is sometimes divorced from your results, hard work, or historical track record.”

"They should reduce unnecessary processes, streamline the employee review process, and make it more transparent."

Takeaways for Your Organization

Although we don’t know every detail of the Apple performance review process, you can still use its general tactics to inform your organization’s process.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Apple gives employees weekly feedback so employees are always focused on achieving their goals.
  • Apple uses a 360 process, illuminating new perspectives and uncovering creative strategies for improvement.
  • Apple measures employee performance against three categories: teamwork, innovation, and results.
  • Goals are set from the top down, with each goal being broken down into cascading sets of goals that are personalized for each department and employee.

More Inspiration

Apple’s performance management techniques can provide inspiration for your own strategy. Check out these articles to see how other top companies are doing performance management:

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2/15/2022
The Purpose of 90-Day Reviews for New Employees

New hire reviews—specifically 90-day reviews—can make a big difference in average tenure for employees, manager-employee relationships, and saving time at your organization.

New hire reviews are one of the most frequently overlooked and grossly underrated parts of a functioning performance management strategy. A 90-day performance review is a chance for employee and manager to check in with each other after the employee has had a chance to settle in.

Whether well-meaning managers allow new hire reviews to fall through the cracks or companies choose to skip them altogether, the idea behind new hire reviews often gets lost in the onboarding process. 

But new hire reviews—specifically 90-day reviews—can make a big difference in average tenure for employees, manager-employee relationships, and saving time at your organization.

In this article, we’re outlining what 90-day reviews should and shouldn’t provide—no matter what your organization does for performance management.

A 90-Day Performance Review Should Provide . . .

1. A Benchmark for Measuring Performance

90-day reviews function as an important checkpoint for an employee’s progress. In order to fully understand the importance of 90-day reviews, it helps to analyze the patterns of new hires.

Employee retention numbers today are critically low. According to a study from an HR technology company, approximately 17% of new hires leave within the first three months at a new job, while 30% leave within the first six months.

These statistics prove that a new employee’s first 90 days are critical. Organizations that choose not to implement 90-day reviews into their performance management strategy must rely on annual reviews to evaluate employees. If the above statistics are true, annual reviews either occur after one quarter of an employee's entire tenure or after an employee has already left the organization.

90-day reviews serve as an excellent benchmark during onboarding to measure a new employee’s performance in a realistic timeframe. After 90 days, new employees should feel independent enough to be held accountable for their performance at the company.

2. An Opportunity to Ask Questions

A successful 90-day review gives employees the opportunity to assess themselves while simultaneously giving and receiving feedback. 

The review provides employees the chance to discuss any questions, requests, or concerns that may have surfaced during their first 90 days at their new job with their managers. They can receive feedback on their initial performance to help them understand what’s working and where they can make improvements. 

The 90-day timeframe gives them a chance to make changes early, ultimately setting them up for success in their annual performance review.

3. A Solid Foundation for Manager-Employee Relationships

While the 90-day review could technically be considered a formal discussion for managers to communicate and clarify their performance expectations for new hires, this review can also be an important opportunity for managers to build a solid relationship with their employees. A well-planned 90-day review can help solidify long-term employee engagement at your organization.

Connecting socially can also help your new hire to better understand the culture of your company. While a large percentage of starting a new job has to do with tasks and projects, there’s also a large social component to a new hire’s first 90 days. A 90-day review can help your new hire ask questions to better understand the lingo, meeting dynamics, and general culture of your organization that they’ve observed.

Ultimately, 90-day reviews help managers assess a new hire’s potential success going forward. After 90 days, managers have had ample opportunity to observe a new employee’s progress, and a formal discussion can help managers more quickly evaluate whether a new hire is a great fit for the organization or not. This step can help save time and resources at your company, which is one reason that 90-day reviews can be an effective part of any performance management strategy.

A 90-Day Performance Review Shouldn’t Be . . .

1. A “Probationary Period”

The first 90 days of a new hire’s employment are often dubbed a “probationary period”—a phrase that has led to many common misconceptions about 90-day reviews. 

Employees can misinterpret their first 90 days in a new job to be a correctional period that they are immediately placed in on their first day of work. This can potentially harm their view of the company, leading employees to believe that they must “hit the ground running” instead of taking the time that they need to get up to speed.

Instead, 90-day reviews should be adopted into performance management strategies with the intention to structure the review as a reflection of the position. The reviews should be designed to get new hires up to speed in a thoughtful and deliberate way, ensuring that the new employee is able to add value to the company as soon as possible while also feeling valued as a contributor.

2. A One-Sided Q & A

If your approach to 90-day reviews consists of nothing more than a checklist of questions for your new hires, chances are you won’t get much out of using them in your performance management strategy. It’s important that managers treat 90-day reviews as a performance review for both employees and management. 

When the review consists of nothing but feedback from management, a new employee may feel that the effort they put into their first 90 days was overlooked. Because new employees are often stressed by the multitude of new tasks and responsibilities on their plate, overloading them with feedback can cause them to feel overwhelmed.

Giving new hires an opportunity to share both positive and constructive feedback can help new hires feel that their opinions are heard and their voice matters. It also helps the organization understand what is and isn’t working, which can lead to improvements for the overall organization. 

Feedback for both parties is a key component of ensuring that both managers and employees get the most out of 90-day reviews. 

3. Postponed or Shrugged Off

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes that companies make regarding 90-day reviews. When managers promise to conduct a 90-day review and then fail to follow through, employees miss out on a formal opportunity to understand how they’re performing and share how things are going from their perspective.

It’s important that management puts forth the effort to create an organized agenda when it comes to 90-day performance reviews. Studies show that organizations that follow through with 90-day reviews see direct benefits in increased employee engagement and tenure. 

The key to achieving a well-structured onboarding program that sets your new hires up for success may be as simple as sticking to your 90-day review plan.

90-day reviews can be a highly effective tool to add to any performance management strategy.

No matter what your process looks like, conducting 90-day reviews with new employees can increase productivity, extend employee tenure, and help new hires reach their full potential at a quicker pace.

Check out our 90-Day Employee Performance Review Template to get inspiration for what your 90-day review process should look like.

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2/10/2022
How to Implement Manager Performance Appraisals—Best Practices

Here's how to successfully implement manager performance appraisals, along with the key benefits of having employees review their managers.

Most organizations have some type of performance review process for employees. But what they don’t always consider is a performance review process for managers. 

Manager performance appraisals are different from employee appraisals . . . or at least they should be. 

In order for these appraisals to be effective, you won’t just be able to use your standard employee review form. Manager performance appraisals will have their own process and questions that are specific to managers. 

In this article, we’ll share how to successfully implement manager performance reviews, along with the key benefits of having employees review their managers.

Benefits of Employee Feedback for Managers

Feedback is important for employees at every level of an organization to help improve performance, identify strengths, and determine opportunities for personal growth and development. 

Performance management software makes implementation easy. Learn More


For managers, this kind of feedback can be especially insightful, especially when it comes from their direct reports. Managers can benefit from employee feedback in a number of ways, including the following:

More Sources of Feedback

It’s likely that managers receive feedback from their own managers, but it can be difficult for a manager’s manager to see how they interact with their direct reports. 

Since most managers will have more than one direct report (and often many), additional feedback from a manager's direct reports can help company leadership, HR, and the managers themselves see how they’re performing from multiple perspectives.

Better Communication

Manager performance appraisals give employees the chance to share how effective their managers are in providing them with the coaching, resources, and support they need to perform effectively. 

When given the chance to provide upward feedback, employees feel that their input matters. Upward feedback also provides a formal opportunity for employees to openly share their thoughts and feelings with their manager, helping improve communication between managers and employees.

Improved Leadership

Manager performance appraisals can help managers tap into opportunities for growth that might otherwise never have been uncovered. Feedback from multiple sources should provide managers with many ideas and opportunities to improve their leadership skills. 

Like any employee, managers can benefit as much from learning about what they’re doing well as they can from learning about opportunities for improvement. Getting feedback from their direct reports will help managers understand what they should keep doing and where they need to make adjustments. 

How to Implement Manager Performance Review

Manager appraisals are different from employee appraisals in a couple of key ways:

  • Manager appraisals focus more on employees' interactions with their manager than on a manager’s operational performance.
  • Manager appraisals assess how effective the manager is at getting work done through others, rather than how they get their own work done.
  • Manager appraisals typically include multiple sources of feedback, which can be helpful in seeing different perspectives.
manager performance appraisal

Because of these distinctions, there are some best practices that can help you establish an effective manager performance appraisal process. 

The process you implement should provide HR with the information it needs to assess managerial performance, managers with the knowledge they need to continually improve their management skills and approaches, and employees the opportunity to share their voices. The following three best practices for implementing manager performance reviews will help you to accomplish those objectives. 

1. Consider Soft Skills

Management is primarily about interactions, relationships, and engagement, all of which require soft skills that can be challenging to measure. 

Collecting information on these critical management skills requires a thoughtful approach for gathering feedback. 

As mentioned earlier, multiple sources of feedback is a major benefit of employee feedback for managers. 

Because of these multiple sources, it’s possible to compare “outlier” responses. For example, 8 of 10 employees may rate their manager as a 10 when it comes to “communicating in a respectful manner,” but the other 2 employees may rate their manager as a 1. HR may do a deeper dive into what’s behind those ratings in order to find out why the 2 employees responded differently than the others. 

Additionally, HR should measure the soft skills that are specific to the manager’s role and type of work. Employees in IT and financial services have different needs for interaction and support from their managers than employees in customer service or marketing.

2. Ask Questions That are Unique to Managers

The questions you ask in manager performance appraisals should be unique and specific to a manager’s role. This isn’t just a matter of repurposing your standard employee performance evaluation form and asking employees to use the same form to evaluate their managers.

Carefully considering the types of competencies effective managers need will help you develop an assessment that’s specifically focused on managers and not just general questions that could apply to anyone. This will also provide you with richer input to identify competencies across the organization that need improvement.

3. Use Performance Rating Scales

While open-ended questions in manager performance appraisals can be useful, not all employees know how to give high-quality feedback. Because of this, you may consider using a performance rating scale to quantitatively measure managers' performance.

While the responses will be based on personal opinions, having them on a scale allows HR to consider collective responses and make comparisons between individual competencies across departments.

Google’s manager survey is a good example of how to assess managers’ soft skills along with company-aligned strengths. Google gives 13 quantitative “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” statements addressing eight competencies.

For example, a statement like: “My manager gives me actionable feedback on a regular basis” can effectively indicate how communicative a manager might be. A statement like: “My manager assigns stretch opportunities to help me develop in my career” assess more Google-specific corporate goals related to their managers’ roles in driving employee development through stretch opportunities.

Google then uses two open-ended questions:

  1. What would you recommend your manager keep doing?
  2. What would you have your manager change?

These open-ended questions give the employee a chance for qualitative responses. 

You may consider adopting some of Google’s practices and adding both a quantitative and qualitative way of gathering feedback to your manager performance appraisals.

By considering soft skills, asking questions that are specific to managers, and using rating scales in your manager performance appraisals, you can implement effective manager performance appraisals in your organization. 

If you’d like to learn more about manager performance reviews, here are a few of our favorite articles to get you started:

Examples & Questions for an Upward Performance Appraisal

What is Upward Feedback?

360 Reviews: Self, Manager, Peer and Upward, Which Ones Do You Really Need?

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