Data is the key to the success of almost everything businesses do these days, including performance reviews. The objective of using 360-degree assessments is to ensure that there is no bias involved, and the review is done to ensure that the needs of employees are properly met. Having said that, if managers and team members are asked to use and take too many assessments, it could hamper an employer’s objective of getting accurate and valuable information out of the process. That is why it is so essential for organizations to know how to use performance feedback to their advantage.
Every organization needs to understand that the first step to reducing bias from the performance review process is getting as much performance feedback as possible. Biases hide the subconscious mind of individuals and can’t be completely eliminated. However, what can be done is to restrict their impact on the human experience. For that to happen, organizations need to start realizing the importance of accounting for instances of bias in their performance reviews. And accounting for biases also ensures that there are fewer cases of discrimination and misunderstanding.
So, what exactly should organizations do to do away with bias and its effects? To begin with, organizations shouldn’t trust any other performance review system other than the 360-degree feedback as it gives them a clear sight of an employee’s performance from every possible side. And this system not only includes a self-review but also peer review and manager review. While having more people review an employee’s performance provides different perspectives, it is still not good enough to get bias entirely out of the picture and get more accurate results. This is why it is essential to have a structured review process. It will help figure out whether or not additional performance review is required and point out clearly when they are going overboard.
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To make the performance feedback or review process reap expected rewards, organizations need first to determine the questions they are trying to find answers for through performance review management. Is it just to help employees get better at what they do? Or does it also have to do with a career path, future employment with the company, and compensation, amongst other things?
Most organizations are looking to find solutions for most, if not all, of these areas. Most of these things have something or the other to do with the eventual performance over some time. However, a few things out of the ones mentioned are neither in complete control of an employee, nor in the field of view of a manager’s watchful eye. So, to make the discussion on these topics result in the expected outcome, both the participants (manager and employee) need to talk about their impact at their end.
Organizations need to understand that employees will only participate in the review process wholeheartedly if they believe it is worth their time. Performance feedback that goes beyond the usual limitations will only succeed if those involved have enough time on hand for accurate assessments.
Ensuring that both employees and managers know how the leadership will decipher the performance review data will help make the participants more invested in the process. Participants will only give honest feedback if they are entirely sure about the process and its ultimate use. People want to know who their feedback will eventually reach and how they will use it. If they fear something, they won’t be honest in their feedback. They might not share negative things that an organization needs to know. This is where technology comes in. Employees can anonymously share honest input without having to fear any consequences.
In order to make the most of the performance feedback process, organizations and HR need to work towards creating a clear enough questionnaire that can elicit honest responses. To do so, they need to know that there is a clear difference between honest answers and unbiased ones. That is why the assessment questions are framed and have a strong bearing on whether responses are accurate or not and whether they are unbiased. For instance, when an employee is asked to rate themselves in a self-evaluation form, they would rate themselves higher than they deserve due to a bias. To do away with this anomaly in the performance review system, ratings should be replaced by questions that ask employees to mention details.
The most important part of the performance feedback and review process is making data-backed decisions favouring the company and its members. When organizations get performance feedback from employees, it is their responsibility to take the information collected and use the results to drive improvements. Ignoring the suggestions provided by employees could hamper organizations’ reputation and come across as employers that don’t care about their employees.
For organizations to make their employees trust the process, they need first to make sure that they communicate the apparent association between evaluation findings and their decisions. Organizations don’t have to implement every suggestion made by employees. They need to understand employees’ concerns and ensure that they have those in mind when making decisions.
Reference: How to Stay Ahead of Performance Feedback | BambooHR | Brian Anderson | December 3, 2021
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