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Performance Feedback

Performance feedback is broken. A survey recently conducted by Deloitte found that more than half of the executive's questioned believed that their current performance management approach drives neither employee engagement nor high performance. Management are in need of something more nimble, real-time and more individualized. The performance review is getting a massive overhaul, with companies switching to continuous feedback, that can measure the performance of the employee in real time and react in real time. Feedback needs to be squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past.


The new feedback approach focuses specifically on objectives. Managers will sit down with each individual to assess what needs to be accomplished by the end of the year. This overall objective will reflect the long term strategies put in place by top tier management (i.e increase sales, increase revenue, etc). Once the objectives have been completed or once a project has been finished, the manager will sit down with the employee to assess the employee on how well those objectives were met. The manager will also comment on where the employee did or did not excel. The evaluations are then factored into a single year-end rating.


Managers have a responsibility to consider their employees performance and development. They need to manage and assess the work that needs to be done, provide opportunities for professional growth and understand the overall satisfaction of the workforce. Key components of performance management are regular performance feedback, and performance reviews. Regular conversations should take place throughout the year between manager and employee. Above this, employees should be encouraged to seek feedback from their managers if needed. Managers should informally alert employees to any performance issues as soon as possible. Supervisors have a responsibility to address work-related concerns and complaints, while employees have a responsibility to participate in such communications. Many concerns can be resolved when they are promptly brought to the employee's attention in a constructive way. Moreover, good performance may be enhanced if employee are given timely and positive feedback.


In addition to regular feedback, a more formal annual performance review should be given. Performance evaluations forms should include a discussion of the past years performance, work relationships, and career development. Specific goals for the upcoming year should be determined, and any areas requiring improvement should be clearly articulated. Employees should complete a self assessment before the annual review, so that managers can clearly understand the employee's point of view.


In some instances, employees may fail to satisfy the expectations of their managers or adequately perform the duties of their jobs. Instances of poor performance or failure to comply with company policy may require corrective action. Managers should sit with the employee to understand the problems the employee is currently facing and what the corrective procedures can be put in place to remedy these problems. Poor work performance or misconduct should be brought to the attention of the employee promptly by his or her manager.