Forget Annual Reviews, Try Employee Collaborations

Annual reviews: The phrase alone is enough to bring up dread for many. Annual reviews have gained a bad rap in recent years for their apparent ineffectiveness. Unfortunately, too many organizations facilitate annual employee reviews from a one-sided perspective. Employers do most of the talking, with employees having no say regarding their present work circumstances — and what they hope to achieve in the future.

That’s where employee collaborations come in to save the day. These associate reviews emphasize a collaborative experience in which the employer and employee walk away having achieved something together. It’s a new review model that can transform your workplace, increasing productivity, profitability, and employee and employer satisfaction.

Here’s how your organization can implement successful employee collaborations.

1. Collaborate 3 or 4 Times a Year

Once-a-year reviews are a thing of the past — the more you can meet with your employee(s), the better.

One of the biggest issues with traditional employee reviews is that they occur only once a year. How can a company evaluate an employee’s performance over 12 months? This is a big problem in retail, for example, where change is constant and businesses are ever-evolving. Many employers end up evaluating employees’ performance over just the past few months because it’s difficult to track performance over such a long stretch. As a result, employee collaborations are recommended every three or four months.

2. Have Both Parties Come in Prepared

Too often, only the employer comes in with notes about the employee’s performance. This structure is what leads to that dreaded one-sided review. Instead, you and your employee should both come in prepared with what you’d like to discuss. To make this possible, you can each fill out a collaboration evaluation form with a defined rating system.

3. Create a Clear-Cut Performance Rating System

To get the ball rolling, you can start with numbers that evaluate your employee’s performance. The best way to do so is through a rating system such as this:

5: Exceptional
4: Exceeds expectations
3: Meets expectations
2: Needs improvement
1: Poor

Make sure to have notes that explain the reasoning behind each rating you’ve given. Cite specific examples for clarity. At the same time, your employee can rate their performance or write observations about their work throughout the past three to four months.

4. Compare Notes

Hopefully, there should be no surprises during the initial review. If there is a discrepancy in how you and your employee view expectations and performance, don’t be concerned — this is the time to collaborate.

First, identify areas where there are any obvious differences. Go beyond noticing a difference and get to the reason why. This is when you can recognize your employee’s strengths and where they can improve. It’s also an ideal way to see where your organization can improve in providing a better employee environment.

5. Develop an Action Plan

Employee collaborations go much further than a discussion. They also emphasize action. Once both parties have discussed where they stand, it’s time to develop a plan of action.

The best way to do this is to set up SMART goals like so:

  • Specific: Go narrow with your goal. For example, you can aim to have your employee close a specific number of sales before the next collaboration.
  • Measurable: You need to be able to track the goal. Create ways you can evaluate progress, such as by using certain metrics or data.
  • Attainable: An unreasonable goal almost always leads to failure. Make sure the goal is actually possible to achieve within the time frame given.
  • Relevant: How does the goal relate to your company’s overall mission? Does it fit with the business’s values and long-term objectives?
  • Time-based: Nothing is more inspiring than a deadline. Have the goal set to be met by the day of the next collaboration.

Make sure you and your associate have a copy of the action plan that you can refer to in the next few months. Before the next employee collaboration, you can each track performance progress and ensure everything is on course. Having something to work toward together will make you both feel motivated in your efforts!

Transform Your Performance Reviews

Successful action begins with an idea to improve.

There’s no denying it — traditional annual reviews are becoming more and more antiquated in the modern age. It’s important to keep up with the evolution and meet your employees halfway with a more collaborative experience. Although this path may take more work, the rewards will be more significant for both your associates and your business.

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