The Revolution of the Work Review: Moving Past Numbers and Into Values

The Revolution of the Work Review: Moving Past Numbers and Into Values

Performance evaluations represent and indicate to your workers what is expected from them. However, this is a ritual that not just employees dislike, but managers, too, since it is time consuming, doesn’t reflect perfectly an employees performance, increases competition and distrust, and reduces collaboration and teamwork. 

So how can we do better?

Studies from various companies have shown that team leaders believed the best way to review performance was through regular check-ins to individual workers, rather than once-a-year formal reviews. Additionally, these regular check-ins would be a better way to measure values than rigid and increasingly outdated forms of performance reviews. Research from reports by and Saba, have shown that only 55% of employees feel that performance reviews encourage further career development. Employees seemed to prefer more personalized, one-on-one evaluations, which would make the evaluations more nuanced, and indicate to the employee that the company cares about, not just its overall performance, but the individual workers that contribute to the company’s productivity. 

As we’ve established earlier, many employees and even managers dislike the way performance reviews are currently being carried out, leading us to believe that performance reviews should be improved. Performance reviews could be optimized when workers and managers meet in the middle in order to find a process that makes the workers feel like valued individuals, yet also allows managers to obtain useful feedback in not just the performance aspect, but also in the culture aspect. After all, the performance review is a symbol of what the company desires and expects from their workers. Of course, every company needs a way to review their performance overall, but here we’re talking about the type of performance review where employees fill out an evaluation form, essentially stripping the personalized element that is essential for each individual employees development.

However, many workplaces continue with this outdated and ineffective method of evaluation because that’s how they’ve Always Done It. Employees feel that they receive less benefit from annual, rigid, and depersonalized evaluation forms, which reduces the complex individuals that make up your company into a compilation of numerical values that don’t necessarily reflect their value. Many companies have forsaken numerical methods of rating a worker’s performance in favor of descriptive, qualitative markers for review. Workers would much rather be referred to as ‘average’ rather than a ‘3 out of 5’, and its important for your company to consider how your workers think you view them. Additionally, another method that doesn’t work as well is comparing individual workers to their colleagues, which fosters an environment of distrust and deters collaboration. To retain individuality or the values of collaboration in their workers, it would be more effective to instill a system of performance evaluations based on the first method, called temporal comparison evaluations, which makes the process more personalized, with an emphasis on individual development, which, as we’ve established previously, is something highly desired by a worker upon performance evaluations.

Based on 3V’s observation, if a majority of workers respond that they gained knowledge that the company’s culture values a worker’s individuality and collaboration, then that means that your company’s chosen system of temporal comparison evaluations has successfully instilled the desired values in your workers. Additionally, leaders should instill the value of feedback loops or check-ins into their current generation of managers, and have these values spread to the rest of the company, so the new system will be well established by the next generation of managers.

In today’s high-speed and high-stress environment, its important to note that no matter how advanced technology becomes, your people are still the engines of your company, and with people, it is important that they feel like your company’s investments rather than faceless workers that can be replaced, which is a mindset that workers can have when forced to go through with the traditional method of evaluation. What is important for a company to look out for in the process of a cultural change is the behaviors of an employee. When an employee is promoted to the ranks of top management, they will act as a symbol, and a beacon of culture whose actions and behaviors will trickle down through the rest of the company. For managers, it is important to evaluate your workers based on their values as well as their performance, for when they get promoted up to leadership, it is their behaviors that will shine through and reflect the company’s culture.


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