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Employees want their voice heard - not a one-way performance appraisal

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Is it time for employers to consider saying bye-bye to the annual one-way performance appraisal? A survey from recruiting experts Hays shows that while three-quarters of employers still say regular performance appraisals are important to engage their workforce, a similar percentage of employees instead want to provide their own feedback - and they want action to follow.

In the recruiter’s Staff Engagement: Ideas for action report, which is based on a survey of 1,196 employers and employees, 77% of employers said regular performance appraisals are ‘very important’ or ‘important’ in engaging their workforce - but 76% of employees instead want the opportunity to provide feedback on various cultural and performance factors, such as through reverse appraisals or employee surveys.

If they were not given this opportunity, 17% would look for another job and a further 46% may consider looking elsewhere.

Seeing action taken as a result of their feedback is even more critical, with 92% of employees rating this as ‘very important’ or ‘important’.

"Performance management is important in employee engagement terms because people need to know how they’re performing, where they’re going and how they can improve," says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

"But this should involve more than one annual performance review. With many organisations reviewing the value of a once a year review, they are instead considering a more regular ongoing feedback system in which employees receive timely feedback on an ongoing basis.

"Crucially, performance management needs to become a two-way process. Employees want to voice their opinions on their progress as well as hear their manager’s."

According to Jason, reverse appraisals can also be used to make the voice of employees louder. "Employees should be given the opportunity to evaluate their managers and the organisation," he says. "‘Upward’ feedback can identify areas for improvement that will help employees be more productive and give them the tools to do their job better.

"They can be very insightful provided an organisation is prepared to take the feedback on board and make change accordingly. After all, nobody is perfect. Even the best manager or organisation can improve."

Hays’ report Staff Engagement: Ideas for action is supported by findings from a survey of 396 employers and 800 jobseekers, in addition to other external studies. Of the 1,196 employers and employees surveyed, 90% were based in Australia and the remaining 10% were in New Zealand.

For more, see the Hays Staff Engagement: Ideas for action report at www.hays.net.nz/staff-engagement.

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