Performance Review

Performance Reviews: What Are The Trends And Challenges?

October 03, 2023

Performance reviews have long been an integral part of corporate culture, providing employees and employers alike with a structured avenue for feedback, growth, and alignment with company objectives. 

Due to changes in workforce dynamics, technological advancements, and corporate values, businesses must stay current with emerging trends and challenges in the performance review process. Staying up-to-date is crucial to ensure they align with the changing landscape of performance reviews.

Performance Review Trends

Performance reviews have long been done at regular intervals and using standard processes. The employee’s supervisor sits down with them to review their past performance and make any appropriate adjustments for going forward.

The way performance reviews are conducted, and their purposes are shifting.

Ongoing Feedback

Traditional annual reviews are giving way to more frequent check-ins. The shift towards ongoing feedback emphasizes real-time growth and development, aligning better with today's fast-paced work environments and continually changing business landscape.

Technological Integration

Technology has become integral to virtually all business operations, and performance reviews aren’t an exception. From facilitating real-time feedback to helping supervisors ensure they cover everything that’s part of a 360 review, apps and platforms are essential. They also help with objective and quantifiable data analysis and unstructured data searches from past reviews.

Forward-Looking Approach

Frequent check-ins are focused on future adaptation and growth rather than the old method of primarily rating past performance. Forward-looking performance management has employees and managers co-create a plan for skill development, pursuing both personal and corporate success together.

Objective & Key Results (OKRs)

Many companies use objective and key results (OKRs) as a critical part of their performance evaluation system. OKRs are vital for forward-looking as they provide a framework for setting personal goals that align with the organization's overall objectives. This promotes a collaborative growth environment that benefits both the company and its employees.

Challenges in Employee Evaluations

Of course, the notable change does not come without its challenges. The transition to new performance reviews has presented several specific difficulties.

Balancing Quantitative and Qualitative Feedback

To understand an employee's performance comprehensively, it's essential to balance quantitative metrics with qualitative insights from supervisors. While quantitative data is easily analyzed, it's crucial also to consider the qualitative aspects.

Bias in Reviews

Unconscious biases can inadvertently creep into evaluations, influencing outcomes. This has always been true, but incorporating technology doesn’t necessarily counter the biases that individual supervisors can have.

Addressing biases in the human and technological aspects of performance reviews requires consistent effort, training, and evaluation of all methods and tools used.

Overemphasis on Technology

While modern tools enhance reviews, an overreliance can diminish the human aspect. Employees are still people, after all, and there’s not yet a technology that’s a substitute for the excellent manager who motivates people and sets them up for success.

Frequency vs. Quality

While ongoing feedback is advantageous, there's a fine line between regular check-ins and micromanagement. Striking the right balance ensures employees feel supported, not stifled.

Check-ins tend to focus on the immediate issues rather than the big picture. Supervisors should not lose sight of the long-term, even when continually discussing what they’re doing with employees.

Future of Performance Reviews

The future of performance reviews is being shaped within the context of other HR trends. As HR processes become more agile and responsive, it makes sense that performance reviews and other processes must adapt.

Proactively adjusting to the trends and addressing the challenges can help support an engaged workforce that is adapting and advancing. To stay ahead of the curve, find out how Payday Payroll’s Performance Management solutions are tailored to the modern workplace. Explore how we can support your evolving performance review processes. Request a free consultation now!

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