Improving Performance Reviews In The Workplace
Creating a performance review system which doesn’t demotivate the employee through negative feedback is a challenge for all employers.
Researchers at Kansas State University, Eastern Kentucky University, and Texas A&M University have come up with some insights that could transform performance reviews in the future and increase employee engagement. Firstly, the researchers identified 3 different types of employees, all with different goal orientations:
1) Performance-Prove Goal Oriented Employees – Always striving to prove their competency in their job.
2) Learning Goal Oriented Employees – Who seek to learn and improve at every opportunity.
3) Performance-Avoid Goal Oriented Employees – Who simply to try to avoid looking incompetent or foolish.
Despite an initial hypothesis by researchers predicting that Learning Goal Oriented people would like negative feedback, unlike the other two groups, because it would constitute a learning experience for the individual; the study found that all three groups disliked negative feedback. Assistant professor of management at Kansas State University, and lead author, Satoris Culbertson, stated:
“Nobody likes to get negative feedback — even those individuals who aren’t trying to prove anything to others, but instead are just trying to learn as much as possible.”
It means employers should be a lot more careful in terms of performance reviews and appraisals as they can have a detrimental effect on performance and motivation. Culbertson recommends adapting performance reviews so that they are not just annual or bi-annual events but an ongoing process:
“Instead of limiting ourselves to formal performance appraisals conducted once or twice a year, we need to think about performance management as a system that is linked with the strategy of the entire organization.”