Many employees complain that their annual performance review is not relevant as their duties and responsibilities have substantially changed since they set their last goals and objectives.
This is a real challenge for many businesses. While some jobs stay fundamentally the same from year to year, other jobs flow and change almost like an amoeba. What should managers do to review performance in those situations?
Ideally, each time your employee changes roles or takes on new responsibilities, you need to set new performance goals and objectives.
If you work on the basis of projects, each project should have a mini-review built into it to help people reflect and learn.
You can also set up mini-reviews every quarter for fast-moving jobs to keep things on track.
These don’t have to be the whole “song and dance” routine, but more in the line of a half-hour discussion that is distilled down into a maximum one-page of agreed objectives, “riding instructions”, and agreement on delegated authority.
What you are really doing is setting out a one-page project plan to ensure both of you are working from the same page and have a shared understanding.
But what if you haven’t done these mini-reviews or plans, and you only realise it when the review rolls around?
In those situations, agree that the objectives are no longer valid and focus on the learnings for both of you.
It is better to use the review process to work out how to move forward than look backwards than try and force a review against something that is no longer meaningful.
When in doubt, come back to the reason you are doing the review. Are you doing the reviews to boost productivity, enhance communication, and build your team, or are you doing reviews to tick off boxes? Go with the approach that gives you the best possible team outcome.