Let’s start with a little trivia! 

True or False? 

58% of companies report performance reviews as ineffective. 

95% of managers are dissatisfied with a formal performance review. 

90% of HR professionals think that performance reviews are inaccurate. 

Whatever you answer was – all these statements are 100% true! 

Times have changed and so should we, and one essential question to ask in these times is –

What is the 2022 way to productivity? 

The good ‘ol ‘Performance Reviews’ or the new, cool kid ‘Recognition’?

Now let’s talk about performance reviews for a second:

Dating back to the times of WW1, performance reviews started as a way of measuring an employee’s output, resulting in either rewards or lay-offs. Bare in mind – these were times when human capital was abundant, while jobs – not nearly enough. 

The practice has stuck around a while because people believed that it worked. Until recently, where a study reported that only 14% of employees find performance reviews encouraging. In fact, the popular opinion says that performance reviews are more often than not – demotivating. 

‘But if not performance reviews, then what?’

It is our pleasure to introduce to you, the up and coming path to productivity – Recognition

Definitely has a positive ring to it, yes? Well, I’m not asking you to serve your feedback with a handful of candies. But there are some minor tweaks in the process and you’ve got yourself a newly motivated workforce:

1. Less is NOT more!

Recognise on the way, recognise as you go – remember that the purpose of recognition is to refine your employee’s performance, not to determine whether its time to bid them goodbye. So instead of the one big annual meeting, make a move to bi-monthly or weekly meetings to point out the pros and cons of their performance. Ideally, keep these sessions 1:1 for the sake of open and honest communication. 

2. Today, Tomorrow, Everyday

Remember how COVID-19 had its funny ways with all of us? Well, the remote working situations did a wonderful job of making employees feel disconnected from the organization. The frequency of your chats between managers and their team is a great way to bring back hope and make sure the employees feel invested in. 

3. Alignment Is Everything

Two things – while you make sure that criticism is being delivered constructively, also make sure that they are aligning with the organization’s core values. Whether it is being followed fully, partly or not at all, make sure you are highlighting the same to your employee and that your feedback is aligned to the core values

4. Your Feedback + Their Ladder

While you prepare what you want to tell them, check these tick boxes off:

  • Is your feedback constructive?
  • Is your feedback actionable?

Your employee needs to know exactly where they are falling behind and exactly what to solve (and if needed, how to solve it). If your feedback isn’t specific and solid, the results aren’t going to be it, either.

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5. The Road Less Traveled

 The sources of recognition is another important factor to track – while the leadership may recognise their teams for support on important projects, it should be equally encouraged for junior employees to recognize their mentors for the training they are receiving. Alternatively, take a break from the regular top-down feedback system. Build a culture for peer-to-peer feedback, also. 

So make the switch, take the road less traveled (as of today) and make the difference your organization needs. Rethink your strategy and make it employee-first. Mind you, performance reviews as a practice were given up by many organizations even before COVID hit us. However, the pandemic only made it more evident that remote working is the new fashion and organizations need to alter practices accordingly.