Stop Doing Annual Reviews
It’s annual review season again and lots of you managers are probably swamped trying to write pages of feedback, both positive and negative, for your employees. My advice for the coming year is to stop doing annual reviews. Workers today, millennials especially, don’t want to wait for a review or feedback once per year. This cycle was fine back when employees worked for a company for 30 years and could take twelve months to work on last year’s deficiencies. Today’s world is one of instant updates (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and a career comprised of stops at many different employers.
A BLS news release published in June 2008 looked at the number of jobs that people between the ages of 18 and 42 held. On average, men held 10.7 jobs and women held 10.3 jobs. Both men and women held more jobs on average in their late teens and early twenties than they held in their mid thirties. Holding 11 jobs over 24 years averages to holding each job slightly over 2 years each. If you wait for an annual review to provide feedback the employee is likely half done with their tenure at the company.
We argued in a recent post Lower your standards and build a better team that the standards for hiring should be lowered. The reason is that we are unable to predict future success based on past performance in a different environment (different employer, different culture, etc) and academic prowess isn’t likely to be a good indicator of job performance. A couple hour interview doesn’t net a better result. Said more simply, we should hire more people but make the cuts way faster. This is especially true when employees, great or poor performers, are likely to leave in 2 years.
Give feedback and rewards quickly. Why should salary increases occur only once per year? When someone performs well or takes on additional responsibility, give them positive feedback and reward them. Today’s employment environment calls for fast hires, fast feedback, and fast cuts.