Have you ever tried to paint a room in the dark? Probably not, right?
Why would anyone go through the trouble of getting the supplies and putting in the effort to attempt a job well done if they couldn’t see their progress along the way? Just the same, why would anyone turn their career over to the annual performance review process?
Taking one opportunity a year to formally discuss performance and progress against goals is much like painting in the dark, turning the lights on at the end, and hoping you did it right. Yet many companies and employees do just that. Hours are spent filling out labor-intensive forms, or using tables to calculate an individual’s value, only to have an awkward, formal conversation with feedback that is likely already too late for it to have any discernable impact on employee growth or company success.
Introducing the Quarterly Conversation
Regular feedback has become a must-have institution for the success of any business. Social media allows for crowdsourcing before consumers make purchasing decisions, product reviews are instantly available and at your fingertips, and jobseekers can conduct more research on companies than ever before. Consumers of every kind can make real-time decisions based on the feedback they receive. In fact, less formal, more comfortable communication, with greater frequency has become the way of the world.
Nearly one year ago, Veristat abolished its annual review process and began to engage all employees and their managers in Quarterly Conversations. At the end of each quarter, employees and managers convene to answer a series of simple questions together:
- What are you doing well?
- What should you start doing?
- What should you stop doing?
- Where can you develop?
- How can I (your manager) help?
We also take the opportunity to check in on annual goals and any progress that has been made against them. We are encouraging managers to take the time to keep the lights on, and provide daily or weekly feedback or recognition in the moment to employees. But if they don’t, at least Quarterly Conversations make them stop to turn on the lights every so often, before the entire room is painted completely blind.
What has been our measure of success?
Real-time feedback and information has led us to fewer performance issues and stronger, more caring relationships between employees and management. With both of these factors in play, employee engagement can thrive, offering the business more committed, emotionally invested employees. We have seen increases in internal promotions and retention rates, which means we are spending less time and money recruiting and onboarding, and more of those resources on the people who are already here.
If those data points don’t convince you, give it a try and see for yourself!
About The Author: Chelsey Breau, Talent & Culture Generalist, Veristat
Chelsey Breau is a rock star on Veristat’s Talent and Culture team, partnering across all levels of the business on topics such as employee engagement, growth and development, internal mobility, and serving as our resident immigration expert. In her spare time, Chelsey is equally as passionate about her family and friends, and crushes it in her role as a dedicated dog mom to Linus, her Morkie.