Enhancing Employee Engagement through Strategic Performance Reviews

Josh Gibbs (USA)

In the rapidly evolving business world, the significance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. Engaged employees are the cornerstone of higher customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and enhanced profitability. However, the traditional model of annual performance reviews has proven inadequate in nurturing the vital employee-manager relationship essential for genuine engagement. This piece delves into the transformative strategy of frequent performance reviews and their profound impact on employee engagement.

The shortcomings of annual performance reviews

Organisations have long depended on annual performance reviews, a practice now recognised for its shortcomings. The primary issues include:

  • Delayed feedback: Feedback given long after task completion loses its relevance, diminishing its effectiveness in fostering improvement.
  • Limited accountability: The gap between current responsibilities and received feedback obstructs timely personal development.
  • Reduced employee-manager interaction: Infrequent interactions fail to cultivate strong relationships, crucial for sustained engagement.

The power of frequent performance reviews

Adopting frequent performance reviews can significantly elevate employee engagement. This approach is backed by compelling evidence, including:

  • Enhanced awareness and engagement: Engaged employees are 7 times more likely when managers actively participate in their current projects.
  • Goal setting and engagement: Active managerial involvement in goal setting can amplify engagement by 17 times.
  • Accountability and engagement: A remarkable 69% of employees tend to become disengaged if not held accountable.

Implementing frequent reviews

To embrace this effective method, organisations should:

  • Regular check-ins: Dedicate about 30 minutes weekly for individual employee discussions, focusing on current tasks and objectives.
  • Structured feedback: Employ surveys with 5 to 15 questions to provide consistent and clear performance metrics.
  • Managerial commitment: Managers should allocate approximately 10% of their time to these reviews to ensure effective oversight.

Impact on organisational performance

The benefits of this approach extend beyond just engagement:

  • Increased productivity: Engaged employees can boost productivity by up to 21%.
  • Boosted profitability: Companies with high engagement levels see a potential profitability increase of 22%.

A manager-employee dialogue

Consider the following scenario, illustrating the dynamic of frequent performance reviews:

Manager: “During our last check-in, you mentioned struggling with the new software. How has that been going?”

Employee: “Much better, thank you. The resources you provided were really helpful. I’ve been able to complete tasks more efficiently.”

Manager: “That’s great to hear. Let’s set a new goal for you. Given your progress, what challenge would you like to tackle next?”

Employee: “I’d like to focus on improving my report analysis skills. I feel that could really enhance the quality of my work.”

Manager: “Excellent choice. Let’s outline some steps and resources to help you achieve that. We’ll review your progress in our next check-in.”

This dialogue exemplifies the benefits of frequent, focused discussions that address immediate concerns, provide actionable feedback, and set clear, achievable goals.

Source: iCN Issue 45  (Executive Coaching); pages 19-21

About Josh Gibbs

Josh Gibbs is an accomplished professional who brings a wealth of knowledge through his prior experience in the public sector and consulting roles. He is enthusiastic about connecting with business owners, recognising that small businesses are vital to our economy. Josh’s education is deeply rooted in human psychology and workplace dynamics. He is passionate about empowering leaders within organisations. Throughout his career, Josh has focused on assisting organisations in tackling challenges associated with employee turnover, and he has developed successful strategies to improve employee retention rates.