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Recruitment: How do your employees feel about performance reviews?

by Beef Central, 16 June 2017

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AROUND 41 percent of Australian employees have experienced a performance review, according to employment website Seek’s recent Insights Report. Of those, only a little over half said they felt confident going into their review.

As the end of the financial year approaches and budgeting/planning for next year is well underway, performance review season is in full flight for many companies in the red meat and livestock sector.

Performance reviews can conjure up all kinds of feelings for employees and managers, but a well-considered appraisal offers a chance to recognise employees’ contributions, emphasise their role in the organisation’s success and demonstrate the manager’s interest in their growth and development.

While performance reviews are an opportunity for employees and their managers to review goals and identify prospects for future development and learning, they also offer the chance to raise any concerns. A review of this nature gives both parties an opportunity and environment to address any issues and determine a way forward.

Performance reviews can take many forms. So what’s the best approach for your staff and organisations? Different approaches may work better in different sized agribusinesses along the beef supply chain.

You might consider using a mix of these methods:

  • Rating scales– this is where a variety of areas are appraised. A checklist may be used to evaluate employees’ technical skill set, behaviours, teamwork and communication skills
  • 360-degree feedback– this involves in-depth appraisals and feedback from peers and other stakeholders, as well as the manager, in order to gain a complete understanding of the employee being reviewed
  • General performance review– this involves evaluating whether established goals were met, and setting new ones
  • Employee self-report– this requires an employee to consider and reflect upon how well they contribute to the organisation.

Formal or informal approach?  

According to Seek’s Insights report, more employees (94pc) agreed that informal feedback was of more value than formal performance appraisals (86pc).

Informal reviews allow for open conversation and for managers to provide feedback on the spot, whereas formal appraisals allow structure and documentation that can be tracked over time.

And different generations may prefer different types of reviews. In general, Gen Y and Millennials tend to prefer informal, conversational reviews whereas Baby Boomers favour formal, linear appraisals.

Preparing staff for performance reviews

Having a standard process for all staff demonstrates that everyone is treated fairly and this builds trust in your organisation. Such a process also gives the manager an opportunity to identify and eliminate any bias against age, gender, background and so forth.

Be organised, if you have a formal review process, identify the best time to conduct reviews, block out certain days or part-days, or invite employees to choose a time that suits them. And it also helps to distribute any paperwork in advance to help calm any employee nerves and so your staff can come prepared.

So how does a performance review impact your staff?

Employees do really appreciate the increased focus on ongoing feedback and coaching, and higher engagement leads to higher performance.

If you do not have a current program in place for performance reviews, End of Financial Year is an ideal time to start considering and implementing.

A new approach to staff feedback that focuses on speed, agility, and constant learning, and is underpinned by frequent, reliable and valid performance data will result in a direct correlation to driving higher engagement levels and business performance.


Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd – Managed Workforce

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