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What does a successful performance review look like to you?

Whether your structure for performance reviews has changed over time or not, the key outcome should be to ensure our employees are leaving feeling like they have got something out of the conversation, and by asking this question, we are setting ourselves up to best achieve this. 

Over the past two weeks, as we have been conducting performance reviews, this is the question we asked our team at the beginning of each meeting. Our goal for their performance reviews is to ensure that whatever is on their mind - be it clarity about their role, development, feedback and/or performance - that it is discussed in that conversation and there is clear, open communication and feedback provided.

Managers and employees typically have mixed feelings about the annual performance review, however developments in both organisational psychology and workplace culture in recent years have prompted leaders to refine or completely reinvent their performance management approaches. 

Our performance reviews this year have been structured a little differently to previous years. The questions and format still cover key areas around performance and goals, however the format provides greater opportunity in depth discussion, understanding the "why" and promoting more alignment.

Even though conducting performance reviews are a serious investment of time (circa 1.5 hours per team member), it has been amazing to see the difference in outcomes and feel the energy from both parties when we invest more time into getting the structure and process right. 

Well-executed performance reviews obviously take planning and commitment, but can go a long way in creating a positive culture of transparency, feedback and learning & development in businesses. Importantly, we have learned that effective performance management will help people understand how their role contributes to overarching strategy, goals and objectives. Leaving a performance review conversation with a sense of purpose and clear direction will drive greater employee engagement and loyalty, which is something we all want from our people!