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Use social resources to improve performance reviews

Annual performance reviews are outdated, David Hassell, CEO of 15Five, told Entrepreneur.

Annual performance reviews are outdated, David Hassell, CEO of 15Five, told Entrepreneur magazine. He noted that they usually fail to facilitate open dialog between managers and employees, come too late to be an effective problem-solving strategy, and miss out on the benefit of real-time feedback. 

One way HR and supervisors can address this issue is to draw on social resources for performance feedback. Employee incentive programs offer more immediate and frequent responses to workers' efforts and can facilitate greater communication with team members. Consider the following tips when revising your performance review strategy:

  1. Use ongoing, not annual, review systems. Once a year reviews often fail to recognize problems and achievements at the most opportune time – right when they're relevant. When supervisors immediately reward employees for good work, the feedback seems more genuine, which is much more motivational. "When you offer quick feedback you offer the ability for quick correction and learning," says Hassell. "You also have a chance to give quick praise – employees want to know they're valued," Hassell said.
  2. Social feedback is better than forms and figures. Take advantage of the wisdom of the crowd, as Jeanne Meister advised in an article for Forbes. She stated that new technology and social media platforms make it possible for businesses to continuously collect and assess data on employee performance. Peer recognition can also be integrated into employee reward and recognition programs.
  3. Review employees based on their individual goals, not only in comparison to other employees. While a little healthy competition can be a good thing, employees are more likely to be engaged and satisfied at work when they feel inspired to improve against their own personal bests and objectives, according to Meister.
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