Workers Surveyed Find Value in Performance Appraisals

It's that time of year again -- holiday parties, colder weather and, for many employees, annual performance reviews. Not everyone looks forward to these meetings, but a new survey shows that most workers find them beneficial.

Seventy-seven percent of employees polled said they consider performance reviews valuable; 40 percent see them as very beneficial.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 612 men and women, all 18 years of age or older, and employed.

Survey respondents were asked, "How valuable is the feedback you receive during performance reviews?" Their responses:

Very valuable 40%
Somewhat valuable 37%
Not very valuable 7%
Not valuable at all 8%
Don't know/no answer 8%

"For many employees, formal reviews provide the only opportunity to gain specific feedback on their performance," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. "The extent to which both managers and employees prepare for these meetings can have a substantial impact on their value as a motivational tool."

As firms gear up for growth in 2005, managers will be carefully assessing which employees should advance to more senior roles, Domeyer noted. "A well-planned performance review includes a dialogue on goals for the year ahead-and is the ideal time to discuss with employees opportunities for additional training, expanded roles and promotions."

Domeyer notes that, for managers, making the review as productive as possible means avoiding some common pitfalls, such as the following:

  • Saving it all up. Don't wait until the performance review to share compliments and constructive criticism. Offering feedback throughout the year will inspire stronger performance.
  • Winging it. Instead, prepare in advance for individual meetings with employees. Doing so will encourage you to evaluate staff based on the same standards.
  • Failing to consult others. If your team members work regularly with people in other departments, tap them for additional feedback prior to the meeting. You may be surprised at what you hear.
  • Keeping employees in the dark. Nothing in the performance review should come as a major surprise to employees. Let them know what will be discussed, how much time to set aside for the meeting and how you would like them to prepare for it.
  • Not following through. Make sure you and your employees reach agreement on key objectives for the coming year, and establish checkpoints to assess their progress in the months ahead.

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