A Cure for Performance Review Blues?
BY Jeff Haden
Hate doing employee evaluations? Most of your employees hate receiving them. But there might be a better way.
The majority of employees hate performance reviews. The majority of managers hate them, too.
Even HR doesn't like them: According to a study by Globoforce and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), 45% of human resources managers don't feel annual performance reviews are accurate appraisals of employee performance.
That's a problem that WorkSimple, a social performance management platform, hopes to solve.
"What if there was a way," says Morgan Norman, the founder and CEO, "to share work, get recognition, get feedback from peers and managers... that would improve employee engagement and the workplace in general?"
WorkSimple works a lot like other social media sites: Employees can share goals, capture accomplishments, get and give feedback (both at the peer and manager-to-employee levels), leave comments, etc.
"Our platform is the opposite of having managers tell employees what to do and then evaluate them," Norman says. "Social performance lets employees showcase what they are doing."
Let's say you tasked an employee with launching a website; that was the overall goal but there were a number of tasks that supported that goal. WorkSimple allows employees to share all the things they did to accomplish that goal--in effect, to create a story of their achievements and performance.
Social goal-sharing also lets employees easily learn what an adjacent team is working on and how their work might impact that team. Every organization is cross functional and many have remote employees, so social goal-sharing helps people connect at all levels: mission, vision, direction--all the way down to tactical decisions and tasks.
"Besides, your employees are already involved in social media," Norman says. "And they like using it. So why not use the same tools to improve your business? And at the same time become more agile and nimble--because instead of waiting to hold meetings you can publish and share new goals and new projects right away."
Here are some ways making performance more social can help improve your business:
You can set goals and monitor achievement. Sharing drives communication and accountability.
You can set overall company focus: Broadcast larger objectives to anyone on the platform.
You give employees the tools to share their work. Everyone likes to share ideas, share what they're working on, etc. Sharing helps employees engage and shows how they really make an impact.
You can more easily engage remote employees. It can be difficult to assimilate remote workers with the rest of the business and its culture. Sharing helps remote employees better understand their co-workers, their objectives, etc.
You can provide instant feedback. Comments, kudos, badges--there's no need to wait for an annual performance review to give those out.
You can create a variety of performance analytics. Not only can you monitor performance, but employees can, too.
WorkSimple has a couple of other handy features. If you choose, employees can use the data to populate their LinkedIn profiles and improve their professional reputation.
WorkSimple can also create an automated performance review that includes data from any time period you choose. That makes it a handy tool for inexperienced managers or supervisors; it's a gentle way to push them in the right direction where feedback, recognition, and evaluations are concerned.
"Performance evaluations are only meaningful if they include a true record of your hard work and accomplishments," Norman says. "Not only should you remember their achievements, but they should too--because the more they understand how their hard work fits into the organization as a whole, the better they feel about their jobs--and your company."
JEFF HADEN learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. @jeff_haden