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Although performance reviews are meant to provide timely feedback and optimize employee productivity, they often fall short of their mark. In fact, a study from TINYpulse that polled over 1,000 professionals found that “37 percent of respondents said that the performance review process is outdated.”

Furthermore,” 42 percent felt that something important was left out of their performance review due to bias.” If your performance reviews are antiquated, here are some ways you can revamp them and provide genuinely helpful feedback to your employees.

Ditch the Annual/Semi-Annual Reviews

Perhaps the biggest mistake that businesses make is failing to provide ongoing, consistent feedback. Many still stick to the traditional method of having employees sit down for their formal annual/semi-annual review. But this is problematic for one main reason. Today’s workplace is dynamic and ever changing.

If you wait several months or even a year to give feedback, it’s likely to have minimal impact for the simple reason that negative behaviors may have already become engrained. It’s like waiting to scold a child for misbehaving. You need to rectify problem behavior right away to have any real impact.

That’s why you’re much better off providing frequent, ongoing feedback. This doesn’t even have to involve a formal performance review session. Instead, encourage your managers to give on the job feedback in real-time. 

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology has enabled modern businesses to operate with a level of efficiency that simply wasn’t possible even a decade ago. For instance, you can save time and improve the effectiveness of your performance reviews by using an app like Impraise.

This can be integrated into an employee’s workflow and will generate tangible data that shows strengths, weaknesses and potential areas for improvement. It’s also highly customizable and can be used to develop particular skills in your employees. 

Emphasize the Positives

While you obviously want to correct problem behaviors, tearing an employee down and making them feel inadequate is likely to have poor results. Instead, you’re usually better off using behavioral modification through positive reinforcement, which can be traced back to psychologist B.F. Skinner’s studies in operant conditioning.

According to Simple Psychology, “positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.” So by praising an employee for what they did right, you can reinforce that positive behavior and encourage them to repeat it. The bottom line here is to include plenty of praise when providing feedback. Never focus solely on the negatives.

It’s never too late to change outdated, ineffective performance reviews. By following these three key tips, you should be able to tweak this process and develop a system that benefits both your company and your employees.

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