A lot of people still can't let go of those dreaded performance reviews

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Performance reviews, those painful annual attempts to measure success and set goals, aren’t quite on the way out in Australia just yet.

The majority still find some value in performance reviews, according to a LiveHire SMS Pulse Survey of 510 people.

The results showed 58.7% believe performance reviews actually help them perform better in their workplace, despite common arguments against the assessments.

According to some research, the performance review, which in many companies is more a tick-the-box exercise than a critical assessment, has lost its effectiveness as a tool to gather information about talent.

What usually happens is that supervisors are concerned about demotivating staff by providing appraisal ratings that are accurate, yet low. So they tend to give high ratings, regardless of performance.

Among those getting rid of performance reviews in Australia is Deloitte. It’s replacing them with more informal, continuous appraisal and performance feedback.

Research shows most people dislike the review process but like a rating. It gives them validation, a bit like a gold star at school: something by which to measure their success, and be reassured of their contribution.

Mike Haywood, founder of LiveHire, a platform to create pools of pre-qualified job candidates for companies to dip into when they need to recruit, says people actually like feedback.

“Companies that buy into the craze of scrapping performance reviews need to remember that people actually care about feedback and truly use it to improve their performance at work,” he told told Business Insider.

“The reality though is that the way many performance review processes are run is not great. Too infrequent, too formal, lacking honest human dialogue, and often too tied to compensation or promotion, which drives the wrong behaviours.”

Haywood says people enjoy work that has meaning.

“Link their work to clear objectives and key results and track progress monthly,” he says.

“You’ll then have tangible data that can be used to assess ones performance, and give insightful feedback on a regular basis.”

The LiveHire SMS Pulse Surveys asked: Do work performance reviews make you perform better?

Source: Livehire

Rhonda Brighton Hall, founder of mwah (make work absolutely human), a start-up that guides both employers and employees, says everyone likes to know they’re doing a good job and how they could be a little better.

“Performance discussions are about setting goals and standards, giving feedback, providing support, guidance and development, and finally, listening to what matters to individuals and teams,” she says.

“That’s a great conversation to have with every person on your team as often as needed.

“At mwah we recommend people (and teams) seek to formalise these discussions quarterly. Not in a boring, tick-a-box way, but in a this-genuinely-matters way.”

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