Should Performance Reviews Only Happen Once A Year? An Expert Weighs In

November 13, 2019 Catherine Tacopina

For many companies, holding performance reviews for staff has been an annual tradition for years. However, with the workforce constantly evolving, does this long-held practice need to change?

With new generations like Gen Z entering the workforce, employers should be adjusting to their needs. One such need that many companies are seeing is an increasing desire for feedback on a regular basis. But are more performance reviews really part of the answer? We asked Jesse Siegal, Senior Vice President of The Execu|Search Group’s Temporary division, if he believes more performance reviews are actually beneficial:

Q: Should managers increase the number of performance reviews per year?

A: Yes and no. Managers should only have one formal performance review a year, but they should now be making an effort to increase the number of more informal performance reviews, or “check-ins” throughout the year as well. Since many employees now want regular feedback, it’s important for employers to meet this need by scheduling time to go over their current performance, what they’re doing well, and what could use improvement.

If you have a new hire, you should be scheduling a check-in with them at 30, 60, and 90 days from their start date, and then quarterly after that period. For staff who have been with the company for a year or more, a quarterly check-in will do just fine. At these informal performance reviews, it’s important that you’re getting a pulse on how your employee is doing, not just in terms of the work they’re doing, but whether or not they’re engaged with their work or if an adjustment can be made.

Q: What are some short- and long-term benefits of more reviews?

A: Today’s employees value transparency and feeling like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Regular performance reviews help to effectively satisfy both these needs, since a less formal check-in will be more conversational. It can even serve as a brainstorming session if desired. By scheduling time to discuss things they’re doing that are working and not, your team will have a better idea of how they can adjust and contribute going forward.

Also keep in mind that these informal reviews aren’t solely a benefit for your staff. As a manager, these check-ins can help you address your team’s needs and whether they’re still engaged with their work. This can ultimately help you manage your staff more effectively, and also may improve retention rates on your team.

Read more: Closing The Deal: 3 Ways To Improve The Candidate Experience

Q: How can employers implement more performance reviews in their company?

A: A lot of this change comes down to the proactivity of the manager. At first, managers should establish these check-ins with their team and, if they believe they’re successful, should escalate these findings to human resources. From there, the process can become more organized, and these check-ins will become a regular and appreciated part of your company’s culture!

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