(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at HRdirect, a trusted source for employee-related compliance, administration, and motivation tools. They serve as a one-stop shop to make employee management easier. Enjoy the read!)
With all the talk about employee retention, I think it’s important to talk about some of the activities that organizations do which contribute to retention. A few weeks ago, we talked about the Family and Medical Leave Act and the way we administer leaves can impact employee engagement and retention. We also recently discussed safety and the fact that employees want to work at places that are safe.
Well today, let’s talk about another aspect to employee retention – performance management. Everyone cares about performance. Organizations care because high performing employees help them reach their goals. Employees care because excellent performance can help them get better pay and promotions.
One of the most common tools in performance management is the annual performance review. Unfortunately, the annual performance review has been a constant source of criticism by both managers and employees. It’s also been very difficult to properly administer performance reviews during the pandemic.
Just because performance reviews aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they should be abandoned. In fact, maybe the answer is to reevaluate the process. And again, I don’t mean eliminate the review. Even organizations that have announced they’ve “eliminated” the performance review haven’t eliminated feedback. Which is what the performance review is supposed to be – an opportunity for a feedback conversation.
It’s the perfect time to reevaluate performance management
If you’re looking to insert some freshness into your performance management process maybe the place to start is building a great foundation. Our friends at HRdirect offer a Performance Management Forms Library that might be exactly what your organization’s performance review process needs. The Library contains:
- Employee Performance Review forms, including a self-review
- SMART goals worksheet
- Warning and disciplinary notices, should performance coaching progress to that point
Each form in the Library has been reviewed by an attorney and is 100% compliant. The Library could be used in conjunction with performance management training for supervisors.
What I like about this Library is that it contains some forms that I believe should be a part of the annual review process:
Self-reviews are a great activity for employees. When an employee is hired, the manager can review the form with the employee. They can discuss how performance will be evaluated and the rating scale. Then prior to an employee’s review, the manager can ask the employee to complete the form and come prepared to discuss their performance.
Corrective conversations are sometimes necessary. I know that we don’t like to talk about disciplinary action during a review. I’m a fan of a performance review not being a surprise. That being said, I’m also not so naïve to think that we don’t have to mention corrective steps during a review. The Library provides some forms related to putting an employee on notice in a supportive and compliant way.
Goal setting is an essential part of the performance process. While it’s important to review past performance, it’s equally important to talk about the future. And regular readers of this blog know that I’m a fan of SMART goals. The Library provides a worksheet for managers and employees to create a SMART plan for the employee’s performance goals.
There’s also a little bonus in this Library – exit interview forms! Some of you might be saying, “Didn’t you say that one of the goals of performance management is to retain employees?” And you would be correct. But my immediate thought about the exit interview forms was this could offer some creative inspiration to include a few stay interview questions into the performance management process.
Performance review conversations typically have a “future” component to them. Managers and employees talk about the employee’s future career and what they would like to accomplish. Managers shouldn’t assume they know what an employee is going to say about their career goals. Now more than ever – in a candidate’s market – organizations need to get feedback about the employee experience. So, consider using the information on the exit interview forms to craft a few stay interview questions.
Give employees a consistent performance review process
Organizations and individuals care about performance which means that performance conversations are necessary. One of the keys to a successful performance discussion is consistency – in communicating performance expectations and discussing results. A forms library could offer the consistency that managers and employees are looking for to make their discussions more actionable and accountable. That’s a win for everyone.
P.S. Our friends at HRdirect are offering HR Bartender readers 20% off their products. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity – just use this link to receive the discount.23