When we think of the performance management process, we often think of the annual review. Of course, this review focuses around feedback. But what if it didn't happen just once a year? How does this change the way feedback is given and received?
Here at Kallidus, we believe in the importance of regular check ins and regular feedback. That’s why our performance management system has been built to allow for total flexibility – performance management on your schedule.
But enough of that, we’re here today to explain why little and often is the best way forward with feedback and how it can change the performance management dynamic for the better.
5 reasons we believe in the little and often approach to feedback
1. Closing the gap between manager and employee
When an annual appraisal of performance review takes place just once a year, the process itself can feel at best laborious and at worse extremely intimidating. Annual appraisals can feel like final exams – your employees have worked all year to lead up to this moment.
Scheduling regular check ins and regular updates of objects can help in a large variety of ways – first of all it closes the gap between line managers and their employees. Keeping communication open and frequent can help your employees feel more comfortable and more likely to stay loyal to your organisation.
Humanising the performance management process is ultimately about letting your people feel heard.
2. Increasing trust and engagement
Employee engagement is a high priority for many organisations – especially as we all work through a time of great change. It is expected many people able to work remotely may not return to office life at all this year – so keeping your employees engaged in the process of not just working, but working with your organisation is vital.
Whether their motivation is to pay the bills or to achieve something in the workplace they’re really proud of, having regular communication and frequent feedback and help your employees and line managers stay on the same page. Trust increases with open and honest communication, and as we’ve discussed many times on the blog here, trust is the foundation of staff retention, engagement, and even productivity.
3. Improving performance in the short and long term
When we say regular check ins, we do not mean micromanaging. Micromanaging can be a huge morale drainer. But checking in regularly – anything from once a week to once a quarter – to take a look at employee objectives, organisational objectives, and taking a moment to check in with your people and how they are really doing, is a great way to keep things consistent.
It shows you care, your people will feel more invested in, and therefore more likely to invest more in you. Performance improves in the short term through the use of short terms goals and objectives. Leaving objectives to be achieved only once a year means just that – they will happen once a year. But setting objectives every two to three months for example, means more can be achieved over the same time period.
Hitting objectives can be a huge motivator, and motivation does wonders for achievement and performance in any organisation.
4. Providing a more holistic view of employees
Checking in on a regular basis provides a more well-rounded view of your employees. Working like this can help you to understand how they cope in different situations, trigger points or stressors for them, as well as understanding what the excel at. You’ll get a clearer picture of how they cope under stress and pressure as well as the situations in which they thrive.
Every employee is different, so this more regular check in will help your line manager have a greater understanding of their people, so they can get the most out of each other.
5. Changing communication for the better
Ultimately, this is all about communication. Whether we’re living through a pandemic, working with globally dispersed teams, or it’s just another day at the office, communication is one of the most important parts of working together.
Did you know that communication breakdown between managers and employees contributes, on average, a cost of over £19k per employee per year due to productivity loss? You can read more about that in our soft skills series, part 1 – communication. So communication really can be a game changer.
Improving communication in this way, opening it up, and using it as a way to increase trust can be a great stepping stone towards employee engagement, staff retention, and improving the wellbeing of your people.
Want a better way to structure your check ins? Download our performance and wellbeing check in template using the form below.