Eight Ways Companies Can Transform Their Employee Review System

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POST WRITTEN BY Forbes Human Resources Council
Successful HR executives from Forbes Human Resources Council offer leadership and management insights.

Using the latest technologies and techniques to provide employee feedback during a performance review can actually work to improve the operations of your company and help you grow your revenue year to year. You’ll have less turnover and longer retention, saving your business recruitment time and money. Plus, your employees will be appreciative of the feedback you are providing.

Eight members of Forbes Human Resources Council shared what breakthrough in thinking, programming, software or knowledge has transformed the way their organizations conduct employee reviews. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Focus Shifted On Quality Of Conversation

We moved away from annual performance reviews and employee ratings to a more flexible approach focused on connecting three-four times a year (for 15-30 minutes) to discuss goals/milestones and personal development. It removes the biological fight/flight response human beings have to traditional evaluations — even positive ones! Training is needed for the organization to make the shift. – Molly Nuhring, Otis Elevator


  1. Real-Time Achievement Acknowledgment

High-performing people value an employer that acknowledges achievements when they happen, not merely when it’s most convenient. To engage and empower our people, we discarded annual check-ins and initiated ongoing feedback loops between managers and employees. Through this change, we’ve established a culture of performance development and real-time recognition and collaboration. – Lisa Sterling,Ceridian

  1. Automated Quarterly Connect Sessions

We use our own technology to provide an automated means of making performance check-ins routine. We call them Connect Sessions. The most telling aspect is a drop down that requires the manager to select whether an employee is “on track” or “off track.” It makes feedback super clear while prompting action. The conversation is then about how someone can course-correct and win. – Stacey BrowningPaycor

  1. Ongoing Reviews

Annual reviews are a thing of the past and many details are easily forgotten. Ongoing reviews have been a better way for our organization to stay on top of professional development and opportunities for improvement rather than talking about it once a year. Continuous reviews offer more validity and daily insight so employees aren’t “shocked” at their review months later. – Tiffany Servatius, Scott’s Marketplace

  1. Future Goals And Measurable Outcomes

First, employee reviews should look ahead at goals for the upcoming year, not at last year’s performance. Employers should meet with employees regularly (not just once a year) to ensure they’re on track to achieve their goals. Second, goals should be tied to measurable outcomes. If employees are simply tasked with improving at communications or customer service, it’s difficult to measure progress. – John Feldmann, Insperity

  1. Employee Development Action Plans

Many organizations find greater ROI in providing ongoing feedback coupled with employee development action plans. To ensure consistency and minimize leadership bias, organizations should have defined parameters on how often feedback should occur and a template for creating an effective employee development action plan that improves performance and builds skills needed to meet organizational goals. – Bridgette WilderWilder HR Management & EEO Consulting

  1. Alignment Of Performance Reviews And Organization Design

Organization design is aligning all parts of a business to win in the marketplace, including people processes and performance reviews. By fitting the formal employee review within an operating model, a business can achieve its purpose. – Mark Lascola, ON THE MARK

  1. Continuous 360-Degree Feedback

We recently began using a new tool that allows for continuous 360-degree feedback. In an organization that values transparency and teaches our leaders to coach, this practice is exceptionally valuable. Leadership can guide employees through development and change by using the feedback, versus being the one to draft it. – Stacie Mallen, CampusLogic