Should HR ditch performance reviews?

‘It’s a subjective process that doesn’t add value to the individual’

Should HR ditch performance reviews?

All performance feedback is highly valuable for employee growth and development when communicated well and provided on a frequent, continuous and ongoing basis, according to Greg Smith, co- founder, deliberatepractice.

Smith told HRD that reviews shouldn’t be a chore or a ‘tick box’ bureaucratic process. They should be a forum for leaders and employees to have meaningful conversations about achievements, strengths, development areas and aspirations to support career plans and success.

“They provide an exceptional opportunity for leaders and employees to connect and to understand each other’s changing needs,” said Smith.

“Career conversations are a critical requisite to any review discussion in which career goals and direction can be understood and agreed.”

Joydeep Hor, founder and managing principal, People + Culture Strategies, compares performance appraisals to his schooldays when he would anxiously view his report to see what marks he got.

Hor added that this twice-yearly feedback became the only data point he had around academic self-worth.

“The process of performance reviews is as stressful for managers as it is for their team,” he said.

“Unfortunately, managers might be giving feedback that they have been bottling up for a long time.”

“The delayed delivery of critical feedback is hardly conducive to building a good relationship. Platitudes and niceties are more regularly delivered anyway. Performance feedback is essential, performance reviews should be a thing of the past.”

Alana Howe, head of people experience, Nova Entertainment, added that employers should ditch performance reviews because they don’t drive high performance or engagement.

“It’s a subjective process that doesn’t add value to the individual and boxes people’s contribution into one defining label,” said Howe.

READ MORE: How to take performance review to the next level

She added that the time and energy spent conducting them could be better spent on higher-value activity. Quality conversations are crucial though, as is an agile approach to setting goals across the year.

“We have quarterly check-ins setting deliverables and focusing on development and feedback. We also ask the questions that can get missed in our busy days, such as: What motivates you? What’s engaging you right now? How can I better support you?”

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