Satisfied employees are productive, loyal employees—every small-business owner knows that. But did you know that your employee review process could be a bigger factor in employee satisfaction than you ever imagined it could be?
According to the most recent Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker study, employee satisfaction with performance reviews is closely correlated with overall job satisfaction. Some 83 percent of workers who are satisfied with their reviews are also satisfied with their jobs; however, just 55 percent of those who are dissatisfied with their reviews are satisfied with their jobs.
So why are employees unhappy with their reviews? More than half of all respondents (57 percent) think their employer’s performance review process doesn’t accurately assess their work.
Changing Up Your Reviews
What would make reviews better? Crowdsourcing may be the answer. Workers are used to crowdsourcing in their daily lives—using review sites like Yelp to rate and research businesses and provide those companies with feedback. According to Globoforce, even workers who are satisfied with their reviews think incorporating crowdsourcing tactics could improve the process.
If you'd like to incorporate the best of crowdsourcing into your review process, try these five tips to give better feedback:
1. Get input from the whole team. A full 80 percent of employees surveyed say the most accurate view of their performance would include feedback not only from direct supervisors but from everyone in the company. Employees who do get peer feedback as part of their performance reviews feel more appreciated (85 percent) and more satisfied with their jobs (88 percent) than those who just get reviewed by one supervisor.
Typically, peer review or 360-degree review involves using forms (either print or online) to grade co-workers on a numerical scale on key characteristics, skills or behaviors. Reviews are usually kept anonymous to encourage honesty. Don’t feel that everyone has to review everyone—to keep it manageable, have employees review only those they directly work with on a regular basis. You can do an online search to find sample templates for peer review, adjust your existing review forms for peer use, or use 360-degree performance review software, such as Small Improvements, EchoSpan or Reviewsnap (all three offer free trials).
2. Incorporate recognition. Does your company get input from customers on employees via ratings and review sites, emails or other modes of contact? Gather comments that pertain to employees, and incorporate them into the review process.
3. Make it immediate. Consumers like ratings and review sites because they can see real-time feedback about businesses they’re considering using. In the same vein, instead of having annual or quarterly reviews, you should be providing feedback frequently—whenever you see something that deserves praise (or correction). Most employees (70 percent) want to get feedback in real time, as soon as possible following the event that inspired it.
4. Keep it positive. Not surprisingly, a whopping 89 percent of employees surveyed say positive feedback is more motivational than negative feedback. While the "crowd" may provide negative feedback, when you deliver it to the employee, try to couch it in a positive way. For instance, instead of saying, “Don’t do X,” say “Instead of doing X, try doing Y—that will be more effective.” By providing a positive alternative instead of just a criticism, you’ll eliminate the unwanted behavior and provide a substitute, and employees will be less likely to get defensive and more likely to hear what you’re saying.
5. Don’t over-think it. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of employees prefer unsolicited feedback to forced feedback. So if you see something, say something immediately, and encourage other employees to do the same. Note: Spontaneous comments work really well for positive feedback, but offering negative feedback requires a little more thought to make sure you phrase it positively and deliver it in an appropriate setting. Giving positive feedback in front of others makes it even more motivational; negative feedback should always be delivered in private.
You can get the full Globoforce Mood Tracker study here.
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