5 things your employees want from performance reviews

Did you know 95% of employees are dissatisfied with their company’s appraisal process? What’s more – 90% don’t believe the process provides accurate information.

The words ‘performance review’ or ‘appraisal’ can be enough to ruin your day. Many dread the process and simply feel demoralised by the whole event. However, when done right, performance reviews can reap many benefits - such as preventing miscommunication and keeping everyone engaged.

Managers have been trying to take on the seemingly impossible challenge of rehabilitating the process for several years. With nearly 70% of organisations already rethinking their performance management processes, it is clear that businesses are now beginning to take appropriate action.

Modern technology such as Microsoft 365 will give you access to amazing features to help improve your performance review process. Download our FREE White Paper to discover more >>

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5 things your employees want from performance reviews

For businesses to effectively make changes, they must understand what it is employees truly want out of the process. Here are the top 5 things we have found to be the most important:

Clear Expectations

It can be difficult for employees perform well and stay motivated if they don’t know what is expected of them. You would think this is obvious, but a recent Gallup worldwide survey revealed that Experts have said unclear expectations are one of the main contributors to the loathing of performance reviews.

Additionally, many businesses only use annual appraisals to set expectations. The problem with only setting them annually is that we forget, and they can become meaningless. Goals should be adapted to remain relevant and useful. Managers can do this by setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals with their team members, alongside smaller milestones regularly throughout the year to ensure all parties always have clarity of where they are heading.

Corrective Feedback

Marc Effron, publisher of Talent Quarterly once said, “Feedback is the broccoli of conversations. It’s not very appetising and we’d prefer something else if possible, but deep down we know that ultimately it’s good for us”.

Giving feedback can not only be difficult, but uncomfortable; 67% of feel uncomfortable communicating with staff. One way some managers try cover up the discomfort is by giving praise, praise… and more praise. Employees do not want this. According to Harvard Business Review, 57% of employees prefer continuous feedback to praise, and a full 72% believe their performance would improve if their manager gave them more corrective feedback.  

Like riding a bike, the more managers practise giving feedback, the more natural it will become. If you avoid it, it will do more harm than good to both individuals, and the rest of the team.

More Feedback

Millennials are now the largest segment in the workplace. This segment is one that will only grow in the future; by 2025 it is estimated that millennials will make up around 75% of the workforce. 

The millennial generation are known for their demanding feedback needs. Without it, experts have said they don’t reach their full potential. Gallup highlighted this when a survey found that millennials are significantly more engaged when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. Industry giants such as Adobe and Deloitte have taken notice of the needs of the millennial workforce and scrapped the annual review model in favour of continuous, real-time feedback.

By only giving feedback annually, you risk only feeding back on what you can remember, rather than what matters. Regular feedback helps to build rapport between managers and team members, so that over time each person’s goals, work style and motivations are clearly understood.

Performance Insights

For employees to stay committed and motivated, managers must find ways employees can measure, track, and feel good about the progress they make. Modern technology has allowed this, and with the right tools, managers can give teams access to personal development data, so they don’t have to wait for manager ‘check-ins’ for insights.

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Enterprise combine the basic and familiar productivity apps necessary to get work done, as well as a have a range of additional apps that sit around the edge. For example ‘MyAnalytics’ is a feature that helps companies and their employees become more efficient and productive, looking at where their time is spend. Some elements you will have access to with MyAnalytics are:

  • A personal dashboard outlining how you spend your time in Office 365, productivity insights, suggestions for improvement and helpful information about the top collaborators in your network on a personal dashboard.
  • A weekly email that highlights your previous workweek.
  • Materials for individuals and teams to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
  • Nudges in Outlook to help you sustain and develop healthier work habits.

Timely Recognition

Appreciation is a fundamental human need. When you put your all into a job, it feels good to know it’s valued; 78% of employees say they would work harder if their efforts were recognised and appreciated more often.

Recognition that is given months after the fact quickly loses value. The longer it takes for managers to recognise an employee’s good work, the more likely it will be perceived as less genuine. Therefore, while giving recognition is important, it must be timely.

It is worth asking your employees what type of recognition is most meaningful to them. You might be surprised to learn how much small, simple gestures motivate them to do their best work!

Businesses can’t move forward if they’re using the same, old and tired tools of the past. While one size does not fit all with performance reviews, taking the time to make some minor changes will do wonders for not only employee morale, but the business as a whole.

Modern technologies are pushing businesses forward and opening up capabilities that allow them to make these changes. If you’re interested in finding out how Microsoft 365 could help your business in this area and many others, why not download our FREE White Paper >>

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