Most organizations today are moving away from traditional appraisal systems and are radically changing their existing performance appraisal process by adopting regular, real-time, informal and instant feedback mechanism. Millennial workforce feels motivated with regular and anecdotal feedback which improves engagement and drives high performance.
Fast and Furious Feedback
We talk a lot about Millennials wanting to be promoted faster, wanting to know where they stand and to feel empowered. Video games are the perfect analogy for that. In a video game, the players have complete control through a hand-held device. The visual on the screen continually let them know how they are doing and the moment they fail, they get to start over again to improve on the previous attempt. And as soon as they succeed, they “level up”! The feedback is in real-time and immediate and so is the reward.
“When it’s time for your appraisal, make sure you bring with you every positive email or note that anyone has sent you so you can support the fact that you are consistently performing at a high level. This is the best proof of performance that you can share with your manager.”
Similarly, modern appraisals need to be delivered as informal communications, in short bursts. Micro feedback (think 140 characters) that is still permanent and automatically added to the employee’s record. No false formality here – no requirement to add a date, time or location; it is all logged automatically through your smartphone.
When I started my career, I received the following advice from a longterm employee: When it’s time for your appraisal, make sure you bring with you every positive email or note that anyone has sent you so you can support the fact that you are consistently performing at a high level. This is the best proof of performance that you can share with your manager.
Today’s HR system should have already aggregated every note, message or micro feedback from employees across the organization – not just our bosses.
How Do You Retain Talent If You Won’t Give Them An Opportunity To Advance In The Three Short Years They Will Spend In Your Business?
Waiting five to seven years for feedback or promotion does not work in an environment where very few stay for more than three. Today we approach our next career choice or advancement with the same mindset.
The tenure of the younger employees in your company is shorter, so they require a larger number of incremental advancements to stay engaged and feel that they have opportunities to progress.
The question is: How do you retain talent if you are not going to give them an opportunity to advance in the three short years that you know they will be spending in your business? Even if employees claim they plan to stay longer, market trends and research indicate that this is not the case.
Not My Father’s Career
My father spent 35 years with a single company. In his day the pace of career progression was slow and during his career, he probably had 35 performance reviews. Today someone would typically spend 3 years with a company and the experience is condensed. The need for feedback and appraisal is more urgent and today that person could expect to have as many reviews in 3 years as my father had in 35 years. In fact, merely having monthly appraisals would mean 36 reviews over 3 years. That’s monthly. We are now looking at real-time feedback or daily appraisals.
There has to be a feedback-rich culture which encourages the employees to perform better. Talking about performance regularly and letting employees create their own goals on a regular basis can lead to a highly motivated and efficient workforce. The managers need to be taught about having honest conversations with their team members. A concept of ‘self-assessment’ needs to be introduced where everyone gets an open and positive opportunity to share their strengths and weaknesses. Investing in a leadership development program can further strengthen the feedback framework which will lead to a continuous development process.
How do you know if your employees will even stay for at least three years or more? Why would you wait until they are well into their duration of employment before assessing their performance? It is a disservice to them and a disservice to any organization – this is the motivating factor behind real-time appraisals. It benefits employer and employee to move to real-time appraisals.