What Are the Outcomes of Overhauling Performance Review Processes?

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    HR Interviews

    What Are the Outcomes of Overhauling Performance Review Processes?

    In the quest for organizational growth, we've gathered insights from a diverse group of leaders, including a Head of People and a CEO, on revamping performance review systems. From introducing continuous feedback practices to streamlining performance management with an online system, explore the twelve transformative outcomes these professionals have experienced.

    • Introduced Continuous Feedback Practices
    • Metrics-Based Review Improves Fairness
    • Peer Feedback Enhances Teamwork
    • Well-Being Focus Lowers Turnover
    • Quarterly Goals Enhance Engagement
    • Detailed Client Reviews Increase Satisfaction
    • Quarterly Reviews Improve Team Dynamics
    • 360-Degree Feedback Spurs Innovation
    • Frequent Check-Ins Raise Morale
    • Performance Uptick from Quartely Sessions
    • Engagement Rises with Collaborative Goals
    • Online System Streamlines Performance Management

    Introduced Continuous Feedback Practices

    There was a time when the performance review process at a previous organization was perceived as outdated and ineffective by both employees and managers. Recognizing the need for improvement, the People Operations team initiated a comprehensive overview of the performance review process with the goal of improving it and making it more meaningful.

    The first step was to gather feedback from employees and managers through surveys and discussions to understand their pain points, expectations, and how we could improve. Based on this feedback, the People Operations team redesigned the performance review framework to make it more transparent, goal-oriented, and aligned with the company's values and objectives.

    One outcome of this change was the introduction of continuous feedback practices throughout the year. Instead of relying solely on annual reviews, managers were encouraged to provide regular feedback to their team on an ongoing basis. This shift helped foster a culture of open communication, where employees received timely recognition for their achievements and constructive guidance for improvement, where needed. Keeping in mind: that which gets recognized, gets repeated. This step improved performance right away because employees knew when they were meeting and exceeding expectations and could continue to strive for excellence.

    The new performance review process incorporated goal-setting and development planning. Teams became actively involved in setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals aligned with their job responsibilities. Managers played a more involved role in guiding employees toward achieving their goals and also identifying opportunities for skill development (where there were gaps) and career advancement.

    The new performance review process resulted in a more engaged and motivated workforce. Employees felt valued, heard, and empowered to take ownership of their professional growth and development. It also strengthened the manager-employee relationship, leading to better communication, improved performance, productivity, engagement, fulfillment, and retention within the organization.

    Mary Williams
    Mary WilliamsHead of People, Pinnacle Advertising

    Metrics-Based Review Improves Fairness

    Peoplism helped implement a new performance-review process for a high-growth tech startup. We knew the process had to be metrics-based, reflect the company's values, and provide detailed feedback to employees. One outcome that resulted from the overhaul was a measurable improvement in employees' sense of fairness of the performance-review and promotions processes.

    Danielle Little
    Danielle LittleDirector, Process Change, Peoplism

    Peer Feedback Enhances Teamwork

    As a legal process outsourcing company, we underwent a significant overhaul of our performance review process to ensure it aligned more closely with our company values and objectives.

    One particular instance stands out when we incorporated peer-to-peer feedback alongside traditional supervisor evaluations. This change fostered a more collaborative and transparent culture within our teams, enabling employees to receive constructive feedback from their colleagues who were intimately familiar with their work dynamics.

    This adjustment not only enhanced communication and teamwork but also led to a notable increase in employee engagement and productivity.

    For instance, one outcome we observed was a decrease in the number of errors in client deliverables, reflecting the effectiveness of our revamped performance review process in driving overall performance improvement.

    This real-life experience underscores the importance of continuously refining our internal systems to adapt to evolving needs and promote a culture of continuous growth and development.

    Aseem Jha
    Aseem JhaFounder & Head of Customer Delivery, Legal Consulting Pro

    Well-Being Focus Lowers Turnover

    We at our company have championed transforming our performance review process to better reflect our dynamic work environment and support our team's growth. Here's a peek into that journey and the impactful outcome we've realized.

    Prioritizing Employee Well-being: We revised our performance review process to include a focus on employee well-being, understanding that a healthy work-life balance is crucial to long-term success. This meant not only evaluating work performance but also encouraging practices that support mental and physical health. By leveraging insights from Toggl Track's time management features, we aimed to identify and mitigate burnout risks.

    This holistic approach to performance reviews helped us create a healthier work environment, where employees felt supported not just in their professional roles but in their overall well-being. As a result, we experienced lower turnover rates and higher job satisfaction scores, as team members appreciated the comprehensive support provided by the company.

    Alari Aho
    Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

    Quarterly Goals Enhance Engagement

    We once recognized the need for a more dynamic, continuous feedback system to better reflect our agile work environment and foster ongoing development among our team. This realization led us to overhaul our performance review process, shifting from annual reviews to a quarterly Growth and Goals framework.

    This new approach centered on setting clear, achievable objectives at the start of each quarter and regular check-ins between managers and team members. These check-ins were designed to provide real-time feedback, discuss challenges, and adjust goals to align with evolving project demands and personal development aspirations.

    One significant outcome of this change was a marked improvement in team morale and engagement. The continuous feedback loop allowed for more personalized coaching and support, empowering employees to take ownership of their growth and development. Team members felt more valued and understood, seeing their feedback being acted on and their achievements recognized in real-time, rather than once a year.

    This shift to a more flexible and responsive system led to a noticeable uptick in performance across the board. With clear, regularly updated objectives, employees could better focus their efforts and adapt to changing priorities. This agility enhanced individual performance and drove greater success for our team as a whole, as we responded more effectively to the needs of the candidates and companies we serve.

    The transition underscored the importance of adaptability and continuous improvement, not just for our clients in the food and beverage industry but within our own team as well. It was a vivid reminder that supporting and evaluating our team members can significantly impact our collective success.

    Laurie Hyllberg
    Laurie HyllbergVice President, Kinsa Group

    Detailed Client Reviews Increase Satisfaction

    An occasion that required a significant process overhaul occurred when I observed a decline in client satisfaction ratings. Initially, my performance review process consisted of a basic survey that asked clients about their experience working with me. After reviewing the responses, I found that the survey was not capturing enough information and did not provide actionable feedback for improvement. To address this issue, I completely revamped my performance review process and added a more detailed questionnaire that delved deeper into specific aspects of their experience, such as communication, timeliness, and overall satisfaction. I also began conducting in-person reviews with each client to have a more personal conversation and gather additional insights.

    One of the outcomes from this change was a significant increase in positive ratings and feedback from clients. The more detailed questionnaire allowed me to identify specific areas for improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the overall client experience. The in-person reviews helped me build stronger relationships with my clients, leading to repeat business and referrals. Overall, this overhaul of my performance review process not only improved client satisfaction but also helped me become a better real estate agent and grow my business. It taught me the importance of continuously evolving and adapting in order to succeed in a competitive industry.

    Linda Chavez
    Linda ChavezCMO, Eazy House Sale

    Quarterly Reviews Improve Team Dynamics

    We shifted from annual to quarterly performance reviews, aiming for more timely feedback and agility in goal setting. This change led to a noticeable increase in team engagement and performance. Employees felt more supported and motivated, knowing their efforts were recognized and any areas for improvement were addressed promptly. One significant outcome was the enhanced alignment between individual objectives and company goals, resulting in a more cohesive and productive team dynamic. This adjustment has been a key factor in our continued success.

    Alex Taylor
    Alex TaylorHead of Marketing, CrownTV

    360-Degree Feedback Spurs Innovation

    Some time back, we shifted our performance review process to a 360-degree format. Initially, reviews were top-down, which limited perspectives. Recognizing this, we integrated feedback from all directions—peers, subordinates, and management. This overhaul wasn't just a procedural change; it was a cultural shift. One standout outcome was the improvement in our product development team's cohesion. Previously, there were silos, but the comprehensive feedback loop highlighted the need for more collaborative efforts.

    This led to more innovative ideas for our outdoor gym equipment, directly stemming from improved communication and understanding across the team. This experience taught us the value of diverse insights in driving our business forward.

    Lucas Riphagen
    Lucas RiphagenCo-owner, TriActiveUSA

    Frequent Check-Ins Raise Morale

    There was an important moment when we realized our performance review process was not working out, and it didn't reflect our team's needs. We shifted from annual reviews to more frequent, informal check-ins. This change allowed for real-time feedback and adjustments. It gave birth to a culture of continuous improvement and open communication.

    One noticeable outcome of this overhaul was a noticeable increase in team morale and productivity. Employees felt more valued and understood, knowing their contributions were recognized and their concerns addressed promptly. This shift enhanced our team's performance and reinforced our commitment to creating an empowering and supportive work environment.

    Swena Kalra
    Swena KalraChief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

    Performance Uptick from Quartely Sessions

    We overhauled our performance review process by shifting from annual reviews to quarterly feedback sessions, incorporating both peer and self-assessments. This change was aimed at providing more timely feedback and recognizing achievements and areas for improvement closer to real-time. One significant outcome was a noticeable improvement in team morale and productivity.

    The more frequent, constructive feedback loop allowed team members to adjust their strategies and behaviors more dynamically, leading to a 20% increase in overall performance metrics within the first year. This approach fostered a culture of continuous improvement and engagement across the company.

    Fahd Khan
    Fahd KhanDirector of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

    Engagement Rises with Collaborative Goals

    One instance in which we had to overhaul our performance review process occurred about two years ago. Until then, our performance reviews were fairly standard, focusing primarily on individual accomplishments and metrics. However, as our team grew and our goals changed, it became clear that our previous process was not fully capturing the essence of what it meant to excel at Festoon House. So, we decided that it was time for a change.

    We started by reevaluating our objectives for the performance review process. Instead of solely looking at individual contributions, we wanted to emphasize collaboration, innovation, and alignment with our company values. This shift entailed involving team members more actively in defining their goals and providing ongoing feedback throughout the year, rather than just at the annual review. It was a significant departure from the traditional approach, but we believed it would better reflect our company culture and result in better outcomes.

    One outcome that resulted from this change was a noticeable increase in employee engagement and satisfaction. By involving team members in setting their goals and providing regular feedback, we created a more transparent and empowering environment. Employees felt more invested in their work and appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the direction of their own growth. As a result, we saw improvements in productivity, creativity, and overall morale within the team.

    Matt Little
    Matt LittleDirector & Entrepreneur, Festoon House

    Online System Streamlines Performance Management

    Back in 2021, we switched to an online performance management system for our performance review process. This was in part due to employee feedback, as employees had expressed that our performance review process was not easy nor efficient. Our organization had historically used various documents and spreadsheets in regards to the performance review process. From a management perspective, these traditional platforms did not allow for a process that was either streamlined or as collaborative as it could have been. Utilizing the web-based platform gave us the ability to centralize the process and store everything in one place.

    Employees had a better user experience because they were able to access both their current and past reviews all from one source. The system also gave employees the ability to track their goals in real-time, leading to greater efficiency and productivity. For managers, it allowed for streamlining and collaboration to take place seamlessly. Feedback and revisions were able to be sent back and forth between managers and second-line managers within the system, without the need for emails or having to send multiple copies of the same performance review document (due to revisions).

    After using the system, we also came to the realization that there was a whole aspect of reporting and analytics we were missing out on. The system was able to produce various graphs and reports, which helped the organization analyze how different managers were evaluating employees on the same categories/questions. The system also gave the HR Team the ability to capture scoring data without the need for hours of manual data collection. All of these different factors resulted in a process which was more efficient, consistent, and equitable.

    Mayank Singh
    Mayank SinghDirector of Human Resources, Coordinated Family Care