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Why Employees expect more feedback and less year-end performance reviews?

A Towers and Watson report revealed that performance reviews has been among HR’s top issues, with 50 percent of respondents  saying that they had changed or planned to change their annual review process in favor of more frequent interactions between employees and managers. Some 81 percent of employers surveyed by Towers Watson said their managers spent too little time in ongoing conversations with employees about their performance. According to Waggl survey, 97 percent said that listening to their employees and incorporating their ideas was critical to an organization’s success.

The  implication is that employees expect more feedback, and managers need more input from their team. In 2016, it will be useful to focus on facilitating ongoing conversations between employees and management about performance and goals instead of opting for the yearly review.

“Whether it’s the imminent death of performance reviews, the latest fad in work-life balance policies, the rise of predictive analytics or the changing role of the CHRO, there’s no shortage of predictions about the kinds of challenges HR will face and strategies HR should consider for 2016.”

The new research report, What’s Next for HR in 2016? 11 Trends from HR Leaders, took in 350 heads of HR from organisations globally to assess their priorities and expected challenges in 2016, and said there were four notable trends of important for HR leaders.

And the report said there are some key elements HR should potentially consider in this trend.

The first is performance management systems, as only 4 per cent of HR leaders feel they are effective at accurately assessing employee performance.

Similarly, many organisations are thinking about planning more talent conversations to keep up with change.

“More frequent conversations about talent can help HR and the organisation more proactively address talent challenges and adapt to changing business and employee needs,” the report said.

“However, the benefit doesn’t come from adding more formal talent interventions to the business’s agenda (eg, more performance reviews), but instead from finding ways to introduce briefer, informal discussions about talent in business processes and daily interactions.”

“When leaders face difficult conversations, feedback conversations or performance reviews, most cover 85, 90 or 92 per cent of the content of what they want to say in the conversation,” said Pawliw-Fry, cofounder of the Institute for Health and Human Potential in the US and New York Times best-selling author of Three Conversations of Leadership. “But a funny thing happens when they get to the more difficult part of the conversation, what we call the last 8 per cent,” he said. “When they hit this part of the conversation – where there are consequences to what they are saying – they start to notice that the other person is becoming more anxious and (because emotions are infectious) they themselves become more anxious. “What often happens next is the other person pushes back a bit and questions the leader, and the leader starts to question themselves about whether they have their facts straight,” said Pawliw-Fry.

“It is at this stage when many leaders, out of anxiety, avoid the “last 8 per cent” of the conversation and never tell the other person the entire feedback they have for them. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it took place. The conversation ends and both individuals leave thinking they had the full conversation. Of course, they never did. Yet neither fully comprehends it. First, the person on the receiving end can’t read the leaders mind and so walks away thinking they had the full conversation. The leader thinks they talked about most of what they wanted to talk about and deludes themselves into thinking they had the full conversation.” Pawliw-Fry said.

HR has an important role to play in the process, according to Pawliw-Fry, and he said HR needs to do more than run a workshop, tick a box and move on.

“World class organisations are committed to sustainment, for example coaching … By supporting the learning we offer with a strategic sustainment offering, we can embed the learning and positive behavioural change will follow. Organisations will need to change the way they retain and engage their employees. A good example is Google, which has identified talent as the be all and end all of their business. It’s less about technology, and more about finding and retaining the best people. This is where competitive advantage comes from.”

About Dr. Ev D'aMigo; PhD

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