Is it Time to Ditch your Traditional Year-end Performance Appraisals?

Have you ever received or completed a performance evaluation that had no meaning or input regarding how you or your employee was actually performing?  I would know because I received many year-end evaluations myself, and they did not accurately reflect my contributions to the attainment of organizational objectives.

I was often left wondering what I could have done differently to score a “5” instead of a “3” for satisfactory.  In my mind, I reviewed all the collaborative work and problem-solving activities that I put in within the organization, and I felt sure I deserved a rating higher than a “3”. Now it gets me thinking if my supervisor was even aware of how well I was performing or if they are in the know of what I was able to accomplish during the past year.

In the last ten years, organizational functions that are responsible for performance management and employee evaluations have taken a step back and re-evaluated their approaches to this process. Most have realized that the traditional way of managing these tasks does not work in the manner that they were originally intended for.

Tradition Stinks

Many have chosen to completely get rid of performance appraisals and the traditional ratings given during those annual appraisals. Why? Because it’s an outdated system and does little to engage employees or improve communication from the executive level down to the employee level.

The traditional system was typically used to determine if that employee is still worthy of the same salary for the next year, or if they deserved to be promoted.  However, if you’ve seen a company's performance appraisal, you would’ve probably seen the likes of it in other organizations. They would include an evaluation in areas such as communication, customer service, and various aspects of your job role that you are expected to meet.

Along with that, you are given a score that indicates what your manager feels that you deserve. However, it can be very subjective with regards to how that manager feels about you and not necessarily reflect your actual performance. This, along with any brief comments, is typical of what someone can expect in a traditional employee performance evaluation.

According to a 2013 Forbes blog, around 20% of organizations force distribution among the workers; this means a set number are required to be rated at the bottom, and a very limited number of employees can be rated at the top.  Forced distribution does not provide employees with a true sense of their individual job performance. 

Multiple issues exist with this traditional approach, including lack of frequent employee feedback, the subjectivity of the person completing the evaluation, the lack of employee empowerment and motivation towards exceeding expectations. Transparency falls short within this structured process, communication is less efficient, and staff may be lacking the necessary resources to excel in meeting their organizational objectives.

Transcending the Performance Evaluation

Should organizations eliminate this process altogether? Or, is there a solution beyond the traditional method to transform performance evaluation processes to a unique feedback system that can be quickly executed to enhance the total functionality within an organization from the bottom up? Would you be excited to know that there is such a platform designed by healthcare professionals themselves, customized to meet organizational needs in healthcare? 

If you are a manager, it would be great to be able to provide your workers easy access to the resources needed to easily perform their roles at a higher level and allow each employee the self-reliance to achieve team performance objectives. The solution to doing this is to increase employee engagement by incentivizing employees on the frontline of communication and providing real-time feedback and support. 

With ManageUp’s unique platform, managers now have a way to structure, organize, and communicate initiatives to their team unlike in traditional emails that typically fall short of those goals. The responsibilities of a manager are made tangible. The manager is also rewarded for their efforts on building the team’s morale and for achieving organizational objectives. This results in an increased engagement of the entire team, manager, and staff, which increases teamwork and communication. 

ManageUp is a personnel and resource management platform that also enhances the transparency within a healthcare organization to steer tasks towards the mission from the bottom up instead of from just top-down. Employees can now be accountable for their own performance through the use of the associated feedback systems to communicate. This allows managers to create assignment tasks for future projects, so both staff and management have clarity as to each’s role within that project. 

Boosting employee engagement and improving management controls while enhancing compliance not only increases productivity but also allows health care providers to focus on patients to ultimately have better clinical outcomes. 

Bersin, J. (2013). Time to Scrap Performance Appraisals? Forbes/Leadership