How performance feedback is evolving

by John Hilton26 Jul 2016
The global trend away from annual performance reviews is definitely the right way to go, according to Kris Duggan, workplace motivation expert and CEO of BetterWorks.

“One of our very close advisers is Laszlo Bock, who is the SVP, People Operations at Google,” Duggan told L&D Professional.

“Google studies an enormous amount of data, they test internally and they look at lots of different ways which drive performance.”

The two fundamental things they found which drive the performance of their people include:
  • Ensuring goals are clearly written down.
  • Ensuring there are frequent conversations happening between the manager and the employee.
Performance reviews or annual reviews are just considered administrative burdens, said Duggan.

He added that generally speaking the frequency of performance feedback should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it should depend on the culture and the company.

“It’s about how dynamic things are and how fast-moving things are. So what might work for one company may not necessarily work for another,” he said.

However, what Duggan is seeing as a common scenario is a formal conversation on a quarterly basis between the manager and the employee.

This is combined with an informal monthly check on progress, goals, how things are going, and where there is help needed.

“I think a quarterly formal process and then a monthly informal process seems to make sense,” he said.

Duggan added that there is a fundamental change that is happening around how these conversations are occurring.

“It is not just about the manager telling the employee what they need to work on,” he said.

“It’s not a one-way conversation anymore. There needs to be two-way conversation, and in order for a company to do that correctly they need to come up with a simple template."

This template involves both the manager and the employee getting to ask questions, said Duggan

The way you can do it for the quarterly conversations is to complete a “start, stop, continue”.

This involves asking the following three questions:
  • What would you like me to start doing?
  • What would you like me to stop doing?
  • What would you like me to continue doing?
Consequently, the employee has 50% participation where they give feedback to the manager about what’s also working for them, added Marshall.

Related stories:

Man gives his wife a ‘spousal performance review’