It’s about this time every year that we turn our attention to the annual performance review for employees. Many managers groan at the thought of the annual review rather than looking at it as an opportunity to align their organisation’s goals with employee performance measurement.If your employees and managers aren’t working to execute your organisation’s strategy then you may have an alignment issue. The best place to start is with goal setting during performance reviews.

It’s more important to meet with managers and staff regularly to discuss goals and achievements rather than waiting until the annual performance appraisal to find out that goals havent been achieved. A quarterly review meeting facilitates a more effective performance management program.

It’s not one size fits all

All too often, annual performance review forms are generic, and a single approach is followed. I recommend implementing a tailored review process for Senior Managers, one that is designed to build leaders and develop management potential.

Setting Effective Goals

Goal setting is a way to make performance measurement objectives clear for everyone within an organisation. A well-defined goal can be easily measured and success or failure can be clearly identified. Establishing clear and challenging targets is the best way to give an employee job satisfaction and motivation.

Finding a balance between challenging and attainable goals is the key to motivating employees. Employees will anticipate a greater reward or satisfaction from completing a task that is difficult and will therefore work harder to achieve it. While a goal that seems too difficult may have the opposite effect, causing people to avoid it.

Another vital factor in setting goals is remembering to reward achievement. Achieving a challenging goal is much more satisfying when people around you acknowledge your success.

Feedback can be used as a type of progress reporting that allows you or your employees to clarify expectations and or adjust the goal if needs change. Feedback also gives your employees the opportunity to receive positive feedback that will help to motivate them or to recognise that improvements are needed.

Feedback is a year-round process, not an annual review

At any moment, your employees should know how they are doing. Rather than being an assessment of how well an employee has performed, the annual review should be your opportunity to reward performance or set in place a plan for improvement.

Performance reviews are a valuable management tool when conducted well, and should be more than a mechanism or formality for a wage increase. If your performance review process isn’t working, now is the time to make changes.