Earlier this week, Cornerstone OnDemand published our 2013 Employee Report. I’ll cut to the chase…Corporate America appears to be doing a very poor job when it comes to aligning goals, providing performance feedback, and actually investing in the development of employees. This may not come as a surprise to many but the report highlights some real concerns. Development programs are increasingly non-existent. Employees aren’t getting the necessary feedback with the immediacy desired. Individual goals aren’t aligned with company objectives.
The report shows some glaring gaps between what employees want and what companies, and more specifically, managers are delivering when it comes to managing individual performance. Some may argue managers today don’t have the time to spend providing development and feedback for their team because they are too busy doing multiple jobs. Others may also argue most managers have not received the necessary training themselves to be good managers especially when it comes to providing coaching, feedback and development opportunities.
With performance season looming, I challenge all managers to make a few adjustments in their approach. Simply looking at the results of the survey, most managers can do a few simple things to make the performance review much more impactful. My list includes:
- Give real, actionable feedback. Use this moment to provide actual situations where they knocked it out of the park and where there were opportunities for improvement.
- Prescribe real-life development opportunities. Go to a conference. Read a book. Make sure it is something they can accomplish in a short period of time.
- A little pat on the back can go a long way. Say thanks. Most employees just want to feel appreciated.
- Establish career goals. Ask them where they want to go and map out a plan to get there. The best managers I know are those that build strong teams and outline a roadmap for their “rockstars”.
- Last and certainly not least, use the review as the foundation to evolve performance management to an ongoing conversation. If you are only doing an annual review you are failing as a manager and doing a disservice to your team and company.