There was a flurry of big companies in 2015 reportedly giving up on annual appraisals. People like Microsoft, Google, Netflix. However, as usual, you can't believe everything you read from journalists. Lets consider what actually happens because, let's face it, a lot of managers find the idea of regular review discussions quite challenging so ditching the one annual, documented, occasion might be a mistake.
95% of the HR managers at both events we ran on this topic had no faith in their managers to be effective in effective feedback.
A famous tech company reckons they spend 2 million hours p.a. on poor performance management. A CEO of another global company said that appraisals had too many topics mixed up in the discussion and they ended up being all about pay. "Its not the annual element I have problem with. It's the directive style....there is still a place for annual goal setting."
Research also shows that managers have a tendency to give the easier option of "satisfactory grades" and there is an inherent bias in that managers also are more likely to see "good" performance in employees they like or have the same style as them.
One CEO was quoted as saying " we want to drive a culture where staff ask us for feedback by empowering managers to ask what staff want next over the next three months. We will create lots of touch point data that will form a trend. When an annual review simply becomes about pay, it blurs things, and HR forgets to have more developmental and coaching conversations."
There are so many things wrong in that sentence; you don't need me to point them out but contact me if you don't see what I see.
So the top 5 tips from our research talking to HR Managers: