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Few people look forward to performance reviews. Even for HR pros and managers, performance review time can be painful – especially if they work at one of the 52 percent of companies that conduct annual reviews. How are you supposed to remember everything Tim from financial operations has done since this time last year? You only see the guy once a month!

When you have to repeat this process with, 10, 20, 30, or even 100 employees, you start to see why so many companies are dropping annual reviews in favor of “microfeedback.”

At least, that’s what we call it at iRevü. Other people call it “building a performance culture,” “consistent feedback,” or simply “regular feedback.” No matter what you call it, it’s changing the way companies large and small look at employee performance.

What does this trend mean for you during annual performance review time? If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re trying to find some way out of the annual performance review hell. As the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago. The second best time is today.”

You might not be able to get out from under the deluge of annual performance reviews this year, but you can start laying the groundwork for change. Begin by taking the following steps, and you may never have to deal with painful, unproductive annual reviews again:

1. Track Your Time

If you know how much time is spent on annual performance reviews when conducted in one large swath, you can easily calculate how much time and money you will save by implementing microfeedback across the organization.

2. Survey Your Employees

There’s never a better time to ask employees how valuable their reviews are than right after you conduct them. Immediately after performance reviews, have someone from the department speak to each employee about how beneficial they found the experience, or send out a simple digital survey.

3. Do Productivity Checks Post-Review

After the performance reviews, does productivity go up? Down? What do your retention numbers look like? This is all information that can be used to make a case for more consistent feedback.

Don’t forget to check your own productivity, too! After all, it might be tough to get your normal tasks done when you have 100 reviews due.

4. Ask Employees What They Want

During your performance reviews, ask employees what they need from you to do their jobs better. I’ll be you the majority say, “More feedback.” Document these responses to prove to the executive team that feedback is better for productivity, engagement, and morale when offered more consistently.

Start the groundwork now, and by the time reviews come around again, you’ll feel a lot less anxiety and see a lot more results.

Everyone else is trying microfeedback. Why are you still slogging through annual reviews?

A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.

Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.



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