Changing the era of annual appraisal

Changing The Era

As more and more twitter, facebook and whatsapp trotting millennial, seeking instant gratification and feedback joins the workforce, HR managers are changing their approach to the age old tradition of annual appraisals.

Popularised by the legendary CEO of General Motors, Jack Welch, the rank and yank type annual reviews have been criticised as a poor or a negative method of performance management.

This survivalist type evaluation system, which pitches one team member against the other at the end of each year has been found to have more negative effect on the team members than an encouraging effect. The workers who ended up in the wrong side of the ranking curve were penalised, through denial of merit raises or bonuses and some even ended up loosing their job.

Due to the highly competitive nature of the annual appraisal system most companies, who were eager to adopt the system during its heydays have been gradually distancing themselves from the once celebrated annual 'rank and yank method' of performance management.

In its place, many global leaders in corporate world have adopted a weekly appraisal system, which seeks to monitor, identify and address the issues faced by each team member, without restricting themselves to a rigid ranking system.

Closely monitoring each team member's performance through a task monitoring system can provide team leaders and managers with essential information to develop a clear picture of the weaknesses and strengths of each team member.

Asking the right question at the right time could encourage and help team members to develop solutions and push themselves further to finalise a lagging task, helping the organisation as well as each member in the long run.

Other than providing instant encouragement and gratification, weekly appraisals could also improve the efficient use of time at an organisation.

You do not need pre-scheduled lengthy meetings for a 45 second conversation and few minutes of advice and encouragement; but such personal encounters can encourage a team member lagging behind than many an annual reviews and appraisals.

According to David Hauser, Co-Founder of Grasshopper, a virtual phone system provider, it is foolish to sum up an entire year of individual work within just one meeting.

Instead of these big scary meetings, it is a good idea to have frequent shorter meetings with less pressure, which instantly brings down the tension between team members and managers.

While many organisations use various methods to streamline their performance management system, google uses a system known as OKR, which evaluates employees on their objectives and key results.

Team members are encouraged to set up an objective and a series of quantifiable key results which would help them achieve the objective easily.

All the employees track each other's OKRs and their development through key results on a task management platform and every one is encouraged to have 4-6 OKRs per quarter. At the end of each quarter every one is graded on a scale of 0-1 and their scores are also made available on their task management platform, enabling every one see how their colleagues have been performing during the past.

Not only an OKR system encourage a team reach large goals through maintaining small key results it also encourages team collaboration. As every individual's objectives and key results are made available public on a project management platform, employees can team up with colleagues who are working towards a common goal or task, to achieve better results, increasing the spirit of team work and collaboration.