How to avoid the stress of performance reviews and make them truly effective

How to modernise the performance review process by pre-collecting data, and personalising conversations to make them less stressful and more effective.

Cristian Tountzis
How to avoid the stress of performance reviews and make them truly effective

We're in the middle of one of the most work-intensive times for directors, HR managers and employees; the performance review period. And for those in the professional services industry, it can be a bit of a double whammy, finally reaching your lodgement date milestones and going straight into another busy period without much of a well-deserved breather.

It's also worth mentioning the added complexity of lockdowns and working from home, making it tougher to run your performance reviews if you aren't equipped to do them remotely.

A large part of the stress that comes with performance reviews is a consequence of the time and effort it takes to plan them. We found that our customers spend 80% of the time during the performance review process on all of the non-value adding activities. This includes data collection, email requests, follow-ups and manual reporting.

So for those involved, you only have 20% of your time left to do the performance review, per employee. Yet the last 20%, when you're having the conversation, is the most valuable part. There are ways to flip that, so you can spend that 80% of the time having the conversation while making it more meaningful.

Modernise your data collection and reporting

If you're in the middle of your performance reviews, this is still relevant. Spreadsheets and Word Docs are still a popular way to collect data and report on it for your reviews. And while this is technically digitised, it doesn't equal modern or efficient.

The timeliness of data is also a pain point when it comes to reviews. 90% of HR leaders feel that the traditional performance review process does not produce accurate information. If you're manually collecting and reporting on data for each review, chances are the information is already out-of-date when the time comes to have the review.

Here's an example video explaining how our customers collect performance review data at the right time and report on it live when it's needed for a review.

Investing time into discovering new technologies that can help make data collection and reporting more efficient and timely will save you in the long run, and if not for this review period, start looking into them for the next.

Modernising doesn't just relate to technology. A big part of modernising your reviews is making them more personalised for each individual. Gallup found the turnover rate was 14.9% less for employees who received feedback on their strengths, so knowing what data to collect, and how to report on it per individual promptly is key to more effective conversations during reviews, and other important areas of your business, like reducing employee churn.

A real-life example of less stressful and more effective performance reviews.

Nothing speaks to the above better than a real-life success story from one of our customers. Ratio Consultants has upped their game when it comes to performance reviews, utilising Everperform's pulses and live performance reporting features to make the process less time consuming for managers and employees.

Ratio's review process has transformed from being manual and time-consuming:

  • Using word document templates to collect data

  • Time-consuming to fill out documents and collect data

  • Wasn't possible to consolidate their reporting for reviews

  • Had to manually follow-up individuals to see compliance/completion rates

And has turned into an efficient process with more time spent having the conversation, rather than planning for it:

  • Administration time was minimal (more time managing changes than managing the performance review process)

  • Able to report on compliance in real-time, eliminating the need for manual follow-ups

  • Real-time reporting used during performance reviews

  • Data collection was personalised to the individual, based on their role and manager

"I have had past experiences where performance reviews take hours, are often irrelevant to job title...but this was spot on." - Manager, Ratio Consultants

The time they took to collect data and responses from individuals was cut down substaintially, collecting the data they needed from employees and managers in less than 7 working days:

  • 45 people reviewed

  • 141 personalised feedback requests sent out

  • 90% response rate within 6 working days

Taking a look at your performance review process right in the middle of doing your performance reviews may seem like the least productive use of your time, but it is definitely worth the investment. Don't wait until your next review period to fix what you can today.

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