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The changing face of performance reviews - what you need to know

The changing face of performance reviews - what you need to know


When it comes to performance reviews, change is afoot. Companies are beginning to consider a more collaborative and flexible approach designed to ensure that employees have complete transparency of how they’re tracking against their goals at any point in time.   

Group Human Resources Director of SEEK, Meahan Callaghan, highlights why SEEK is paving the way with their performance review processes. “Our employees told us that they disliked the twice-yearly performance review structure with many saying, it was intimidating, untimely and often led to uncomfortable conversations. This insight didn’t sit well with us as we strive to foster a culture of high performance”.

  • More conversation in a feedback-rich culture: “SEEK has recently launched ‘This is SEEK’, a company-wide initiative that focuses on cultivating a culture that harnesses talent. As part of this, we’ve replaced formal annual reviews with ongoing performance conversations” said Callaghan.

    The benefit of a feedback rich culture is that employees are able to constantly evolve and improve throughout the year as a result of having regular conversations with their manager. It encourages employees to continually focus on areas for improvement, and discuss with their manager whether they need to adjust their behaviour in order to achieve their goals

    With regular feedback you’ll be encouraged to frequently reflect on and moderate your way of working. In turn, this will lead to a more challenging and productive work experience.
  • 360 degree feedback does the full circle. 360 degree feedback has evolved from asking colleagues for their opinions, to now considering what customers, suppliers or external stakeholders think of an employee’s performance.

    With so many unique roles in a business, an employee can often spend more of their time with a client or supplier than with their own manager. This approach provides a more accurate assessment from the people that know the employee the most.

    So how will this change affect you? Receiving feedback from all stakeholders will help you see different perspectives and give you the opportunity to adjust behaviours and develop skills that will enable you to excel.
  • From ratings scales to real measurability. The traditional ‘Exceeds/Meets/Needs Improvement’ rating scale (or similar) asks managers to make a subjective assessment. But how can companies extract meaning when Manager A gives an employee an ‘Exceeds’ in communication while Manager B who supervised the same employee last year, gave a ‘Meets’?

    Companies are now adopting methods that tie an employee’s efforts with business outcomes, focusing on whether deliverables have or have not been achieved and how often this has occurred. This new rating scale, which asks managers to write in answers such as “timeframe for goal has been met, however, some or all milestones and success measures have not been met”, lends itself to both employee and manager understanding.

    This more black and white approach allows companies to be able to accurately track what’s working and change what’s needed for effectiveness. It offers direct answers to questions, which allows for more effective employee reporting and development.

Whether your company is adopting a new collaborative approach to performance reviews or preferring the more traditional method, fostering open lines of communication with your manager is key. Seek feedback from them around your performance, probe on areas where you can improve and ensure you regularly feedback on how you’re tracking against your goals.

With regular feedback you'll be encouraged to frequently reflect on and moderate your way of working.

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