Performance Review Season: Building a Strategy That Works

Its high season for performance reviews. At this time of year companies are busy getting ready to complete reviews for last year and set up powerful development plans for the year ahead.

As more and more SMBs move away from paper-based evaluations and over to Sprigg, we increasingly work with companies implementing the performance and goal products for the first time. They are typically well prepared with their communication strategies, rollout plan and training agendas for the initial launch.

Creating a plan to continue to grow for years to come, however, can be ignored at implementation stage. This causes problems in the future.  

The following checklist will help you get through the preparation for the upcoming review process in a manner which will also ensure long-term benefits and an effective strategy which the whole company can get behind year after year!

Having a plan for each part of this process will eliminate some of the stress that is typically associated with the review process during an already busy year-end time frame.

Annual review

I hope you find this list to be a good starting point for developing your own performance review process. I offered suggestions around what you could coordinate and complete to have a successful performance review cycle.

If you have any questions, or would like some assistance with updating your current talent management processes please get in touch with our team at sales@sprigghr.com

Create Next Year’s Goals

Many people come out of the annual review cycle with ideas for goals. Tools like the Sprigg software gives them a place to record those goals so they don’t lose them: create the next year goal plan and permission them to see it in Sprigg.

Set Your Timeline  

Knowing what your timeline looks like keeps your HR team on track. It also helps employees plan the time they need to complete their duties.  Be mindful of the natural ebb and flow of your organization.

Pick the “best” time for the majority of people to complete the review. You will never be able to satisfy everyone so that should not be your goal.  Satisfy most!

Year-Round Dialogue

Try to avoid the mindset of Performance Appraisals and Development Plans being an annual process.

While many organizations continue to work on an annual performance review cycle, we find that the companies which benefit the most from our collaborative HR software encourage a culture of weekly, if not daily, use of Sprigg’s functions.

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Optimize Rating Scales

Review your company’s rating scale and make any adjustments to the wording or number of rating options.  While it seems like an easy task to go in and make rating scale changes in Sprigg, the change management it takes to get your employee and management population using the new rating scale effectively can be considerable.  Many of my clients have found that it takes several communications, examples and training programs to really get a new rating scale put into place and widely used consistently.

Competencies

Review your competency structure and update any competency names, descriptions, and writing assistant text.

Typically once you have established a competency model, there is not a lot of work that needs to be done year after year but you should continually add to the writing assistants such as the Coaches Corner tool and which competencies they most need it for.

Check Your Data is Up-To-Date

Review your user data to ensure the manager and human resource representatives are correct for each employee and people who are no longer with the company have been inactivated.  Lots of Sprigg’s goals and performance software relies on these two relationships for the most of the process to function accurately.  Why not ask your managers and HR team to complete a quick check of their reporting relationships before the launch of the next cycles development plans?

Try New Tools and Approaches

So you get the importance of the performance review cycle but have never done a 360 review? You could be missing a big qualitative piece of the pie. Getting feedback from peers and colleagues in a way which can be measurable and add to the overall metrics of the review can be invaluable to ensuring accountability and developing performance.

Check You Have Buy In

Sprigg is so successful because we encourage dialogue and transparency. We believe that there should be no shocks in the evaluation and that development plans should reflect the genuine strengths of the team and individual. Tools like Sprigg gives power to Managers and HR pros to ensure employees and stakeholders feel engaged and recognized year-round. Utilizing these tools means that you Managers and Employees buy into the performance management process!

About the author

Jilaine Parkes is a knowledgeable and passionate HR/Organization Development Professional with nearly 25 years’ combined experience in large, dynamic organizations and independent HR/OD consulting.

Want to learn more? Contact Jilaine at jparkes@sprigghr.com

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