Do performance reviews work?
Performance reviews have been around for over one hundred years. And like clockwork, dread falls upon those sometimes practical, sometimes problematic assessments.
Is a singular sit-down encompassing all 365 days of our work still effective?
Was it ever?
Is there a better way to provide feedback and foster growth in our teams?
Pixel Dreams doesn’t like formal performance reviews. In fact, we don’t do them. Instead, PD has developed a Reflect & Envision document for every team member.
What is a Reflect & Envision Doc™?
An R&E Doc™ is a self-assessment questionnaire. It puts the team member in the driver’s seat. As a result, every team member has time to think and reflect on their year.
What are the benefits?
The R&E Doc is about empowerment—both for management and their team. Team members don’t have to think off the top of their heads. Management saves time with sit-down meetings. Both leaders and team members show up prepared. Old school performance reviews can sometimes be awkward, stressful, or even confrontational.
The team member owns their R&E Doc. They decide their weaknesses and strengths and set the direction to grow and succeed. When team members take ownership of their growth, it frees leaders from a teacher/student dynamic, allowing them to be coaches and mentors.
Better than a performance review
The R&E Doc focuses on the individual and their goals and aspirations. Team members chart their growth in their own words over time. How they have changed, where their priorities and interests lie. The doc also lowers the importance of the face-to-face with their leader. The marker is set. Goals and feedback have been recorded. Whether a meeting happens or not, the team member has already established their aim.
The philosophy behind the R&E model
Human psychology is fragile, and our egos want to reject feedback. The Reflect & Envision document puts the power in the hands of the team member. They provide their feedback and offer an assessment of their self-awareness. The power of reading their own words can open them up to new possibilities. It will encourage a growth mindset over a fixed mindset.
Insights for Managers
Feedback is best served daily, weekly, monthly. In some instances, immediately. Team members shouldn’t be waiting until their yearly review to address an issue. The Reflect & Envision doc provides empowerment to employees. They’ve recorded where they excel and where to improve. The R&E Doc allows managers to be a source of encouragement. It equips managers to have a solid position and support the individual’s goals while charting progress.
Start your team on R&E Docs
Follow the link to our Reflect & Envision Doc and make it yours.
If you’d like the original Google Doc template, please reach out and we’ll share it with you. 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
- How are team members held accountable?There are many ways and methods. Most importantly, accountability starts with the leader. In what way? First, the leader (person accountable for the team) must ensure a culture of responsibility and accountability. Once a leader has clarity in this, the second will apply: Hire team members who take their growth seriously and let go of those who don’t. A-Players want to be accountable. As a leader, you don’t want to babysit people. Being accountable for someone else’s growth is an uphill battle that will create frustrations for the leader and annoyance for the team member.
- When should my team do this?Once a year is enough. Twice a year may be too much. Team members should schedule regular check-ins with themselves and their leaders. Once it’s written (typically in January), you’ll want to revisit the document quarterly at a minimum. Participants should feel comfortable adjusting goals and milestones.
- How big should my team be? What is the ideal team size?
This exercise will benefit the individual, a team of two, and an organization of any size. There are obvious limitations to how many R&E Docs one person can read, let alone meet with team members. That said, if your organization is large, there should be leaders in place that have the maturity and relationships to drive this initiative with their respected teams.