Why Mid-Market CEOs Should Revamp Performance Evaluations

Continuous feedback can assist in overcoming the drawbacks of conventional performance evaluations.  First, it provides timely feedback in the moment of need so the employee can correct it.

Providing more frequent feedback leads to better results.

Many companies have relied on the traditional performance evaluation system for decades, but it frequently falls short of providing mid-market enterprises with the knowledge they require to thrive. One of the main drawbacks is that it is only conducted once a year. As a result, there is no feedback to correct the course throughout the year. There is also a higher risk that biases and subjective opinions will impact the evaluation, and the focus will be on more recent events.

Continuous feedback can assist in overcoming the drawbacks of conventional performance evaluations.  First, it provides timely feedback in the moment of need so the employee can correct it. Regular conversations can also lessen biases and create more objective, complete evaluations. As they get continual feedback regarding their performance, employees will develop a better awareness of their duties and responsibilities, enabling them to understand how each of their goals fits into the larger purpose of the business and areas that need improvement. 

Constructive Feedback Tips

Most leaders only give constructive feedback to correct negative behaviors. And in many cases, they wait too long or fail to give it at all. The following are some tips to keep in mind when giving constructive feedback:

  • Focus on behavior(s). Avoid character attacks or broad generalizations about that person.
  • Be specific. Provide examples to support your input instead of general statements.
  • Be timely. Constructive feedback, like bad news, does not age well. 
  • Positive Feedback Tips

    Make sure also to provide feedback for a job well done. We often fail to deliver the right kind of positive feedback, assuming we provide any at all. Your feedback will have a more significant impact if you remember the following:

    • Be personal and specific. What are you praising them for? 
    • Be genuine and sincere with your comments.
    • Be frequent in your feedback. Don’t wait to deliver positive feedback. It will boost motivation and go a long way to reinforcing the right kinds of behaviors.

    Try Feedforward instead of Feedback

    Feedforward is a process of replacing positive or negative feedback with future-oriented solutions. A recent poll by Gallup found that only 26% of employees felt that feedback effectively improved their performance. According to Marshall Goldsmith, NYT best-selling author and #1 leadership coach, feedforward can be more productive since it replaces ‘let me show you what you did wrong’ with ‘let me give you suggestions for the future’ that will help you.

    1. Pick one behavior you would like to change (e.g. I want to be a better listener)
    2. Ask for feedforward, two suggestions for the future that would help you achieve a positive change in that selected behavior from several people whose opinions you value.
    3. Listen attentively and only say ‘thank you’ after their suggestions

    The drawbacks of traditional performance reviews are numerous; however, there is an answer – more frequent feedback or feedforward. It keeps the manager up-to-date with the employee’s progress, offers timely suggestions for improvement, and promotes a positive environment at work. It is also less biased. So, stop waiting for performance reviews once a year and give feedback more frequently and the right way now! It will go a long way to enhancing your work relationships and professional environments.

    Charles Good 
    President, Institute for Management Studies
    775-322-8222  |  ims-online.com  |  charles@ims-online.com

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