3 Reasons to Ditch Performance Appraisals for Performance Coaching

Performance_Coaching.jpgIs your company is still using formal appraisals? If so, ditch them right now and start coaching.

The term “performance appraisal” in and of itself is enough to make many employees squirm. If you’re still using them to assess employee performance, it’s high time to swap them for a better method – one that will actually motivate productivity and inspire growth. It’s time to incorporate coaching into your performance management strategy. Here are three reasons to stop what you’re doing and begin making the move to coaching right now.

Reason #1: Performance appraisals are negative.

Whether or not you intend it, the very phrase has earned itself a negative connotation throughout the majority of today’s workforce. Many employees loath performance reviews because of the reputation that precedes them. Employees fear criticism, negative feedback, and being attacked with details of mistakes made weeks – even months – ago.
In fact, appraisals even make many employees so anxious that they consider quitting their jobs. According to a 2015 Wakefield Research study, performance reviews caused nearly 25% of millennials surveyed to call in sick, and over a quarter of those surveyed searched for a new job as a result.
In contrast, the concept of performance coaching carries with it the feel of growth, encouragement, constructive criticism and personal development. There is a distinct difference in the feeling an employee has when they face a coaching opportunity as opposed to a formal appraisal.

Reason #2: Performance coaching cultivates loyalty.

Do you wonder what the difference is between leaders who earn employee commitment and loyalty and leaders who merely establish compliance? Research has shown that the difference is clear: it’s coaching.
Why is this? You’ll be hard-pressed to find an employee that wants to be managed, appraised or reviewed. In contrast, though, it’s easy to find employees that want to be coached. People want to be nurtured and grow. Millennials, in particular, have a desire to develop and be challenged to perform better.
Coaching takes a new perspective on your performance management process. Instead of appraising past performance, it looks forward at future opportunities. Often the coach and the employee work together to set goals and establish a challenging – but rewarding – path to reach them.

Reason #3: Managers don’t want to conduct performance appraisals.

Employees receiving appraisals aren’t the only ones who dislike them. The managers that have to conduct them typically aren’t big fans, either. Generally speaking, most managers don’t love rating their team members at a set date and time, based on sweeping generalizations and standards set by someone else. It’s hard for them to think back over several weeks and months to come up with specific examples of positive behaviors and missteps. It’s hard to gauge how much a person has or has not grown in certain areas over time.
What’s more, these managers may be under pressure, themselves, to have more positive appraisals or to push back harder on employees than they feel they should. Or they may just be having a bad day when they are tasked with conducting reviews. The bottom line is that performance appraisals introduce a lot of subjectivity and put too much pressure on managers to deliver meaningful feedback because an appointment on the calendar says they need to.
In contrast, the best managers want to coach. They want to help their team members grow and reach their full potential. By freeing them up to deliver feedback – positive, negative or otherwise – as needed instead of within a formal appraisal, you are enabling your managers to be better and draw greater performance from your organization.

Performance appraisals are outdated and they could be doing more harm than good within your organization. It’s time to make the move to coaching and optimize the potential of your organization. For more information on how to move from traditional appraisals to coaching, schedule a demo of entomo today. We’ll help you move to a new generation of performance management.

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