I received a call this week from a close friend regarding her annual review. She described how her boss explained to her that they really liked how dependable and trustworthy she was in her position. The quality of her work is of the highest caliber. Her boss then explained that he felt that she needed to do more work – she needed to take on more projects and more responsibilities. He felt as if she hadn’t been doing enough. Cue the sinking feeling.
The issue is one that Aubrey C. Daniels, Ph.D., knows well. Dr. Daniels is the author of OOPS!
13 Management Practices That Waste Time & Money (and what to do instead).As he describes, the annual performance review is loathed by both employees and managers who have to perform them. He further finds that taking the annual review, a bad process, and turning it into a quarterly review just makes it four times worse per year! Instead, Dr. Daniels suggests that you create measures for the team around what you’d like for them to do, then have a way of continuously measuring against those metrics so they know how well they’re doing.
These constant adjustments and comparisons to the metrics will help you manage your team and maximize their productivity. Dr. Daniels suggests that at the same time, the surprises of not meeting expectations or goals will be minimized because of the communications the manager is having with his or her employees.
Consider the way you and/or your managers communicate their goals and the frequency in which they do so. A more frequent communication with your team will likely help both you and them achieve the right goals in the proper timeline. Additionally, changing course won’t be quite as painful because the communications have been happening along the way. See more about what Dr. Daniels has to say about annual reviews below.