How to review the annual performance meeting evaluation process?

January 7, 2021

Featured-Image_Blog_How to review the annual performance meeting evaluation process?_EN

Annual performance reviews begin in many companies. For many employees, this unavoidable exercise is a waste of time because it is often considered inefficient. Wrongly so! Because it is the moment when each employee should take stock of the year and express his or her expectations. On the managers’ side, this meeting is just as important, because it allows them to contract the exchanges of the past year with each employee, to take stock and to set new objectives.

However, while a yearly interview remains an essential tool in the relationship between a manager and their employees, it is no longer enough to meet today’s workplace requirements.

Guidelines for a 3.0 Annual Performance Meeting

The first question concerns the evaluation frequency. The right solution would be to set up a more dynamic and flexible system based on feedback after each project carried out by an employee. This way of operating would allow exchanges in coaching mode in order to adjust each person’s performance in real time instead of waiting for the whole year.

We can also imagine the evaluation of each employee’s skills directly by his/her colleagues in order to compare their opinions with the manager’s evaluation.

In addition to these meetings, a mid-term evaluation system could be set up using online forms available through the employee’s digital human resources file.

This automation and formalization is facilitated by a complete HRIS that can be used to collect all of an employee’s feedback in their annual interview, or to collect all of the information needed to make decisions, compensation, training and career management.

Finally, when Softskills are put forward, methods can be considered to reward them. The implementation of an evaluation process

Behavioural reactions to situations or psychological tests can be considered in addition to softskills analysis.

It’s a fact: The conventional model consisting of setting employees goals at the beginning of the year and making a balance during the annual interview, is no longer realistic today. The health crisis is forcing many managers to operate blindly and every day, so setting annual goals seems completely unrealistic.

Does this mean that the annual performance meeting has become obsolete?

With the current health crisis, teleworking is becoming the next normal. This new way of working requires shorter and more regular meetings. These meetings also allow quick corrections to be made in terms of objectives and resources, and respond to the need for business agility.

However, these regular meetings do not replace an annual meeting, because they help to better understand and analyze the year that has just passed. It is an opportunity for the manager to have a general overview of the year and to discuss with employees their overall performance. It is also a way to assess their ability to adapt to “project mode” methods in a teleworking context that requires greater autonomy, and to analyze the colleagues relationships. These are all issues the manager has to take time to prepare.

Without forgetting that it is nevertheless necessary to master the technique of the interview for it to be effective.

Many companies maintain the two systems in parallel. The annual performance meeting remains a way to close the year and anticipate the coming year.

A meeting to build, not to penalize

The annual performance meeting should not be a review, but rather a constructive exercise for stakeholders. Often poorly experienced by employees, it should not be a process disconnected from day-to-day relationships.

The annual performance review should not become a source of anxiety for employees. The manager must communicate with everyone throughout the year to raise positive points and areas for improvement. For several years now, this meeting has been widely criticized and considered inappropriate in the face of the changing world of work. And the health crisis have reinforced this feeling even more.

Agility is crucial for companies now. In fact, employees are more and more often called upon to take on transversal missions, in many cases involving different managers.  In the next normal, the annual performance review must be transformed.