Airline pilots know that even a small error in a flight course can put them dozens of miles off their target destination. In fact, for every one degree an airplane strays from its flight path, it will miss its target by one mile for every 60 miles flown. Pilots also know that the sooner they detect a deviation, the easier it is to correct. So they are continually monitoring and making adjustments during their flight to stay on course.
The same is true in business. The quicker you can detect a problem with an employee’s performance, the easier—and less expensive—it will be to make corrections. And yet many businesses continue to relegate their performance management processes to an annual endeavor.
The Importance of Continuous Feedback
A Gartner/CEB report found the average manager spends roughly 210 hours doing appraisals each year. Despite all the time invested, many employees are still falling through the cracks. In fact, 74% of employees felt completely in the dark about how their managers and peers think they’re performing.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, employees are looking for a deeper, more robust form of feedback and recognition. It’s becoming clear that the traditional annual review process simply isn’t meeting their expectations. It needs to be replaced with better performance management—utilizing continuous feedback.
But practically speaking, what should an effective continuous feedback process include?
Employee Review Format
The first step should be determining the format of the review process and the frequency that works best for both management and employee. Some businesses will opt for a quarterly or monthly review while others may schedule them on a weekly basis. You might discover that meeting too frequently can be counterproductive so the key should be flexibility. It may take time and experimentation to find what schedule and format gets the best results. But once you find the right cadence, it’s important to stay consistent.
Agenda for Performance Review
The second step for effective continuous feedback is establishing a detailed agenda for your meetings. Employee and manager should each have a copy of the agenda beforehand with a clear understanding and expectation of upcoming discussion points. Performance management is not just about providing praise and recognition but also critical feedback, guidance and support to move forward. An effective performance review should be well-organized to make the best use of time, while also leaving room to accommodate issues that might arise spontaneously.
Documentation of Employee Feedback
One vital aspect of continuous feedback is establishing a method of documenting performance and tracking progress. This helps maintain clarity and objectivity in the review process. Effective feedback should be rooted in facts and metrics to avoid a potentially counterproductive debate about feelings or opinions.
Benefits of Continuous Feedback
Many businesses find using continuous feedback for performance management helps their employees flourish and become more productive which, in turn, helps businesses reach their goals. Research shows that companies that set quarterly performance goals generate 31% greater returns than those that review goals annually, and those that do it monthly get even better results.
Performance reviews are a crucial component of your employee’s development, productivity and overall level of engagement. Paycor’s Talent Development software can help your team move beyond the traditional annual review model and create a dynamic culture of continuous employee development.
How Paycor Helps
Paycor builds HR solutions for leaders. With Paycor, you can modernize every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop your team, to the way you pay and retain them. See how Paycor can help the leaders of your organization solve the problems of today and tomorrow.