Boy, the Wall St. Journal is really getting smart – because once again it is agreeing with me. As I wrote some years ago, and tell all my clients – the once a year performance appraisal is worthless. (If you want a copy of that old article, just get in touch with me and I’ll send it to you.)
In the Managing & Careers section on Sept. 6th, the same writer, Rachel Emma Silverman’s headline reads: “Yearly Reviews? Try Weekly: Accustomed to Updates, New Generation of Workers Craves Regular Feedback.”
I’m certainly not of the new generation, nor are most of the clients I serve, but almost without exception, people want timely feedback. I often say I don’t like hitting a dart board blindfolded. One of the benefits of biofeedback is that it allows the participant to get immediate feedback, thus being able to re-calibrate.
In the workplace most people want to do their best – and welcome an interactive process with their supervisors. Interactive – not just filling out forms for HR or payroll. Interactive – feedback about how they are doing what they are doing, how they can improve, how they can have more challenging and interesting projects, etc.
We talk about management as coach or mentor – but do we really use our management in that manner?
We create pro-forma 360 degree feedback forms – but are they really giving the kind of feedback that is useful to a particular employee or boss? Are they customized, personalized? Are the people completing them being honest knowing that they will really remain anonymous (which means the person compiling the data must be able to disguise some of the information if it is too concrete and thus revealing the person writing it.)
Evaluating performance, whether as a supervisor, or as a team conducting 360 degree evaluations is critically important to the health and growth of team members as well as the organization itself. The better it is executed the better the results.