Why You Should Give Continuous, Constructive Feedback…Instead of Simply Share Annual Reviews

An annual review is a deferred gratification. In today’s digital world, where information is at our fingertips with the touch of a button, making an employee wait for 12-months for professional feedback seems almost ridiculous. However, many companies still provide written and verbal feedback only once a year, despite the fact that 55% of employees state that an annual review does nothing to improve their performance. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says that employers are beginning to pay attention and revise their approach for managing employee feedback. In 2016, 82% of employers used an annual review, but by 2019, the number dropped to 54%, demonstrating a shift to more timely and on-going feedback throughout the year.

Most employees say a continuous feedback model gives them the ability to adjust to your expectations and improve their performance more quickly.

Here’s what you need to know to improve your employee review process.

How Performance Management is Evolving

The global pandemic gave all of us a bit more time to reflect on work processes that were broken. As such, many companies took the time to look at their performance review processes and reevaluate and modernize them. Many adopted a continuous feedback process over the outdated yearly evaluation. There are a number of benefits to continuous feedback over traditional annual evaluations, including:

  • This type of “always-on” feedback is more engaging to your workforce. It’s a constructive, positive way to motivate your workforce and encourage them to improve. If done  properly, it can build trust between your workforce and your company, improving retention and motivation.
  • It can help with goal management by setting up mechanisms for monitoring employee progress towards them. This can create a culture of high performance, which can improve the company’s bottom line.
  • Peer recognition and collaboration are also integral parts of the continuous feedback loop—or at least they should be. The continuous feedback process benefits from programs where teams can give each other kudos publicly and feel empowered to provide peer-to-peer constructive feedback. It also creates an environment where people are comfortable asking for help when they need it.

We know that 85% of employees who check in with their employer weekly are more engaged. Now compare that to the traditional annual evaluation and you’ll begin to see why so many workers are disengaged from their jobs.

Continuous feedback takes some of the pressure off the idea of one chance to receive a raise or promotion. Instead, this kind of 360-accountability is filled with possibilities for advancement and engagement in the job at hand. How can employers move toward continuous feedback? Try these tips:

  • Address issues as they arise.
  • Praise employees regularly and reward them constantly.
  • Train your managers in how to properly provide continuous feedback.
  • Use the formal review time to set yearly goals and chart a career roadmap for your employee, and be sure to review it to track progress and revise goals as needed throughout the year

If you’re seeking new talent to add to your team, consider talking with Blackstone Talent Group. We are the nation’s leading IT staffing company. Contact us to find out more.

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