- Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Performance Reviews? – read now
- Turn Back the Clock, but Not Your Productivity – read now
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Performance Reviews?
While for many the arrival of November means the beginning of the holiday season, for Human Resources professionals and management in many organizations, it means that performance review season has arrived. Supervisors and managers are being sent forms to fill out for their subordinates with boxes to check rating them on a scale of one to ten, or one to five, or some range reflecting whether an employee is meeting, exceeding, or falling below expectations. This process is so common as to be nearly universal and yet, it is nearly universally disliked and distrusted. Nearly every study done over the past 15 years reflects that (1) managers and employees both distrust annual performance reviews and (2) annual performance reviews are not effective at improving employee performance. How then, can companies improve their performance feedback process?
- Provide regular, timely feedback to employees. One of the major drawbacks of the annual performance review is that it’s only done annually. If an employee is under-performing all year round, why wait until the end of the year to say so? Similarly, if an employee is doing a great job, providing regular feedback helps them stay motivated.
- Separate compensation reviews from performance reviews. By separating compensation from the annual performance review, well-meaning supervisors are removed from the dilemma of over-rating an employee to ensure that they receive a compensation adjustment. Allowing the supervisor to provide constructive feedback in a manner that focuses solely on the employee’s performance creates more honest feedback.
- Provide short-term and long-term goals for all employees. When providing feedback, taking the time to prepare short- and long-term goals reinforces the purpose of performance reviews – improving employee performance. For top performers, discussing advancement opportunities and the company’s plans for them reinforces that they have a future with the company. For poor performers, providing concrete areas of improvement can assist you in either addressing issues or providing the support for later employment action.
If you have questions about how to effectively update your performance appraisal process, communicate changes to employees and ensure that they are being followed, please contact our Employment & Labor Law practice group.
Turn Back the Clock, But Not Your Productivity
Life suggestions from WCS’s Outreach Group
November 1st brings a time of year when “falling behind” holds a pleasant ring to it. An extra hour of coveted, luxurious sleep is gained as we turn our clocks back with the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST). But how do these 60 minutes of altered time affect the way we function in the following days and months?
Gaining an extra hour of sleep may seem like the solution to exhaustion and a motivation deficit. However, altering one’s sleep schedule in any way can create negative consequences, according to Dr. Jori Ruuskanen, of the University of Turku in Finland. We develop individualized patterns and circadian rhythms based on our schedules and our bodies’ needs. Lack of productivity, distractedness, sleepiness, binge-eating, and boredom can all result from a change.
So, when schedules uncontrollably shift, how do we combat these negative consequences?
Nourish your body and mind. With minimized social interaction due to COVID-19, pack your lunch for the office. Or, if you’re teleworking from home be sure to have plenty of healthy choices in your refrigerator. Choose foods that keep you energized with good carbs and protein, like bananas, and avoid processed sugar rushes. To activate your brain, set a goal to read a set number of pages from a book per week, find articles with unfamiliar topics, or listen to a new podcast. This is a good place to start.
Think of time in the sun as a daily multivitamin. Seemingly grey days can threaten mental health. Whether diagnosed with a seasonal disorder, or just longing for brighter places, individuals can become lethargic during this time. Fluorescent lights can seem harsh and daunting. We require a certain amount of natural light to function at our best. Science speaks to the biological benefits of sunshine, but you may find your own improved attitude and productivity are testament enough. So, utilize your break to go outside. Eat lunch on a bench, or even stand next to a sunny window for a few minutes.
Ask for flexibility. Come 5pm when you emerge from the office, the sun is likely to already be low in the sky. You have the same number of hours after work to fill with personal activities, but it can feel like less. You may be tempted to spend them all on the couch. If you’re accustomed to a specific after-work routine involving the outdoors, work to keep this time. Inquire about shifting your schedule to come in 30 minutes or an hour early, so long as it does not interfere with your duties or the core hours of your business. Ask your supervisor for a trial period, if need be, to convey that the post-workday activities you partake in are beneficial to your productivity and mental awareness on the job.
Check meeting times and schedule accordingly. Be vigilant of meetings and how schedules may be impacted with the time change. In the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii have opted out of DST. This lessens time zone differences once DST ends. So, best not to schedule any crucial meetings on November 2nd, to minimize confusion.
Don’t let this briefly promising night of extended hibernation impact the success of your daily functions and productivity well into approaching cooler days. Stay healthy, keep with routine, and above all, do things that bring happiness!
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