Business expert Jeff Nock demonstrates the importance of real-time, ongoing feedback versus once-a-year performance reviews.
The employee performance review process is undergoing a massive, important evolution. Companies like Microsoft, Netflix, Adobe, and GE are eliminating annual performance reviews in favor of real-time feedback processes. This, Jeff Nock believes is because real-time feedback is a much better way to lead and coach people who desire such empathetic guidance rather than autocratic, impersonal annual reviews. Real-time feedback is also a better fit for today’s real-time world and younger social media savvy workers. An expert in business located in Iowa City, Iowa, Nock explains more about the process.
“The annual review process comes with a lot of baggage,” suggests Jeff Nock, Iowa City-based business consultant and owner and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, “which causes high levels of employee frustration, pitting employees against each other and causes employees to tune out. People want to be considered as individuals and be given a chance to achieve their potential.” Annual reviews also miss the mark because they by nature include situations that occurred 6 to 12 months ago. Issues, good or bad, should be addressed real-time to encourage or model desired behavior rather than a year later when the individual may not even remember the issue.
What companies like Microsoft are learning is that real-time feedback makes employees feel valued and appreciated for their efforts now, not 12 months from now. This also, Nock claims, improves the quality of feedback because the situations are fresh in the minds of all people involved. “Real-time feedback related to performance issues enables the employee,” adds the expert, “to adjust right away and improve their productivity and their morale.”
Jeff Nock believes real-time feedback empowers employees as done correctly, the process creates a two-way discussion rather than an autocratic, top down annual review. “Good, real-time feedback turns the employee review process into an ongoing coaching, mentor-mentee scenario. Through one on one weekly meetings and other ad hoc communications, the employee gets better day to day leadership and the manager learns to become a better leader,” adds Nock, a graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado, speaking from his office in Iowa City, Iowa.
Leadership today must adjust to the way people learn today. People gain information in real-time through their phones, computers and laptops, according to Prescient Consulting, LLC founder and CEO Jeff Nock. “To use annual reviews in today’s work environment is akin to using letters and the mail to share important daily news”, adds the business consultant.
“Good leaders are transparent and good communicators, in real-time,” he adds, wrapping up, “and good employees appreciate this transparent, empathetic leadership and engage and work harder for companies with such leadership.”