By Thea Dudley.
Performance management isn’t dead, the old way of thinking about it is. I would love to claim ownership of the bit of wisdom, but it is attributed to Anita Bowness. It has been my mantra in credit management for a very long time now. Regardless of who said it, it underscores that the “one and done” approach to the yearly performance review is dead. If you are still rocking the yearly review, wake up!! It is 2021! Organizations excel when employees get consistent coaching and feedback in ongoing conversations.
The yearly review is, was and always has been a flawed system. Who remembers what happened eleven months ago? How has it ever been possible to recap someone’s performance, get the best out of them and inspire them for the next twelve months’ if it all has to be packaged up once a year, usually in an hour or less, and that is what stands as performance review? Where is the coaching?
The challenge is, how do you have those on-going coaching sessions, kept it conversational and put some structure around it? No matter what your role in the company is, chances are you have someone who is accountable to you. I equate reviews to coaching my customers on expectations, if I don't set them, lay them out clearly, check in with them and we hold each other accountable for our share of the relationship, how do we both improve.
Welcome to the One-on-One review. I have been using this method now for several years. I stumbled on it when I was searching for a way to build the better review mousetrap. Tired of dreading the yearly review, not to mention the groans and eye rolls from employees and those that did push for it were really less about the review then the anticipated, even expected, “I made it through another year” pay increase.
The One-on-One review was the perfect solution - conversational, consistent, and engaging. It is also the easiest and most enjoyable “review” I have ever done. How to do it? Set up quarterly, half hour meetings with each employee. Design your own one-page form broken into areas of discussion: Frustrations, goals, what projects they are working on, how can you support them?
Goals and growth have a much better chance of staying on track if they are nurtured, discussed and visited - often. Best part: it is painless!!! I chose once a quarter, but you can set it up once a month, every six weeks, whatever works for your company.
Now, no one dreads the yearly review, goals are on track and issues, frustrations and challenges are addressed before they have a chance to blow up. Take a chance and shake things up, try the one-on-one!
Thea Dudley is an expert credit and collections officer, having spent 30 years in the construction field working for contractors and distributors. See her full bio here.