Monday, June 18, 2012

Should We Dispatch With Annual Performance Reviews?

Q: What are the alternatives if we scrap the annual performance review?

- Torn in HR, warehouse/distribution, Virginia Beach, Virginia

A: The issue is not your performance-review system. It's probably a deficiency in coaching skills among your managers.

Keep the annual review, but add the following elements:

a) Launch a recurring training program to help managers develop coaching skills. If you don't do this, none of your other efforts really matter.

b) Work with your senior leaders to implement a system whereby managers are held accountable for ''one-on-one check-ins'' with all the employees they directly supervise. These sessions should occur at least once a month. Implementing this requirement forces your managers to practice and hone their own coaching skills.

c) Be prepared to serve as a coach to the coaches. They are going to need your help.

Coaching is the replacement for the annual performance review. In fact, the lack of coaching skill is the No. 1 reason for performance reviews. The one-on-one sessions should truly be of a check-in nature - no rating scales or other formal assessment measures. The manager schedules time for employees to discuss their own list of items.

Your managers are there to knock down barriers for employees as much as possible. Once each employee is done with his list, the manager uses the coaching skills to talk about which things are going well and refocus the employee's attention on potential areas for improvement.

[Source: Kris Dunn, HR Capitalist, Birmingham, Alabama]

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