Back to resources

The Benefits of Performance Reviews and How to Carry Them Out

Leadership
Conflict Resolution
Working with Product Teams
Team Management
Compensation
Internal Process Optimization

7 January, 2022

Ersin Yilmaz
Ersin Yilmaz

Founder at ManagersApp

Ersin Yilmaz, Founder at ManagersApp, describes a successful feedback loop and the importance of regular performance reviews.

Different Company Standards for Performance Reviews

Investment in performance management varies from non-existent in some workplaces to months out of the year in others. Performance management season is the time of year when every manager's stress level sky-rockets and they start dreaming of vacation.

My experiences with the performance management process at different companies varied drastically, often depending on the company's size. However, I would argue that the performance management process should be similar whether a company has five employees or thousands.

There are workplaces where Performance Management just does not happen. Some team members are lucky if their manager spends more than 5 minutes a year giving them feedback on strengths, areas of improvement, or supporting their career goals.

Some places just wing it. The performance review process is in place, but no one can describe its structure. The expectations from the individuals involved are not clear. Therefore, the process does not always accelerate employee growth and impact.

There are places where Performance Management is a well-thought-out process for managers and individual contributors. The process is created to help individuals achieve their potential and grow in the company. However, getting it done is a herculean task and dreaded by everyone involved in the process.

Making Performance Reviews More Successful

People naturally want to grow in almost every aspect of their lives. At work, growth means the ability to deliver more impactful results.

The increase in impact comes when complex, impactful projects (both technically and/or organizationally complex) are delivered. The skills required to deliver such projects are acquired over time with practice, conscious focus, and coaching. Without guidance, feedback, and a plan, very few individuals would be able to acquire the skills to deliver these complex projects.

For the business, an individuals' growth should translate to business growth since these people can deliver more impactful results.

Performance management is a critical tool in a Manager's toolbox which allows managers to ensure individuals on their teams are getting continuous and actionable feedback to meet what is expected at their current level and the next. Well-defined expectations for people on a team provide the manager with a set of tools to help them guide their team's growth and impact.

Set Goals / OKRs:

This should be done at the beginning of each quarter. I recommend setting around three goals. In regular circumstances, goals should be set by the direct report with the manager's input. Goals are not set in stone. Things change as we learn more about them, so goals should be fluid but always focused on delivering the results that will create a positive impact.

Collect 360 Feedback:

I sometimes call feedback signals because the word signal indicates continuity. Feedback should be collected throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis. It is powerful for someone to submit feedback when they see that their colleague has done an excellent job in an area that the company values. Avoiding recency bias is another big benefit of collecting feedback continuously instead of only once or twice a year.

Hold Regular Performance Check-ins:

The manager should decide whether to schedule a separate meeting for this check-in or use part of their weekly 1:1s. Either way, the manager and the direct report should know when this check-in will happen so both of them can prepare for it.

These check-ins are for lightweight, ongoing conversations, which will help the manager directly align expectations and correct course if necessary. The check-ins are also for sharing feedback from others and coaching.

Incorporating Ingredients for Success

  • A few key ingredients are needed for a performance management process that is effective at growing team members: Goals, Feedback, and Frequent Check-ins. Making performance management a continuous process and not a once-a-year thing is powerful. It is also important to separate performance management from promotion and compensation conversations, which will distract.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

4 E's of Leadership

21 March

A short overview of a very effective leadership assessment by Jack Welch, that is easily transferred to other industries is the 4Es of leadership – energy, energize, edge, and execution.

Leadership
Career Growth
Strategy and Vision
Ramesh Dewangan

Ramesh Dewangan

CEO at Quantum Vision Consulting

Performing Focused Work in a Distracted World

21 March

Based on an awesome book titled "Deep Work" by Cal Newport we provide provide a brief overview of the Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

Leadership
Productivity
Communication and Collaboration
Ramesh Dewangan

Ramesh Dewangan

CEO at Quantum Vision Consulting

Beware the Empathy Trap

21 March

Is it possible to be too empathetic? If you overdo it, it can be an energy sucker.

Leadership
Conflict Resolution
Team Management
Managing Stress and Burnout
Melanie Zens

Melanie Zens

Delivery & Operations / Digital Transformation / Innovation at Marais Consulting Inc

Applying The Rules of IKIGAI for a more fulfilled life!

20 March

Learn about 10 rules from the wisdom of these long-living residents from Ogimi, a small village in Okinawa, Japan. You could interpret the rules as the lifestyle habits that enable the senior residents of Ogami to live long and enjoy their ikigai.

Leadership
Productivity
Career Growth
Communication and Collaboration
Hiring, Retaining, or Firing
Managing Stress and Burnout
Ramesh Dewangan

Ramesh Dewangan

CEO at Quantum Vision Consulting

Relationships, like products, need to be designed.

7 March

3 ways leaders can cultivate relationships that lead to better products.

Leadership
Building and Scaling Teams
Career Growth
Team Management
Strategy and Vision
Guy Jenkins

Guy Jenkins

SVP Global Customer Experience at Salesforce