Real-Time Employee Performance Feedback: Popularity, Benefits and Risks
According to a recent survey by Accenture Strategy, 45% of the 2,100 respondents indicated that their organizations had moved from annual feedback to ongoing performance feedback for their employees in the past five years. This is a huge shift.
If effectively implemented, ongoing feedback offers the potential for significant benefits for employees and the organizations they work for including:
- Increasing employee engagement and performance
- Satisfying millennials’ strong desire for frequent feedback
- Improving organizational agility
Unfortunately, as the volume and frequency of ongoing feedback approaches “real-time,” the risk for problems with the feedback recipient increase dramatically. This is especially true for feedback delivered electronically to the employee by email or app the instant it is captured by the manager. Social media and email have also provided many lessons about the potential downsides of unmanaged, instantaneous message delivery.
Most seasoned Human Resource Professionals have had the opportunity to deal with the aftermath of employees who have received feedback from their manager that was poorly constructed and/or delivered. The employee is often surprised, angry, and more disengaged than before the feedback was delivered. In the worst case, the feedback can also be damaging to the organization, exposing it to potential legal action for harassment or other offenses.
Continuous Performance Management with Smart Delivery: Benefits Maximized – Risks Minimized
Continuous Performance Management is a specific form of ongoing feedback, with a focus on enabling frequent, structured “check-in” meetings between managers and employees about goals and performance. Check-in meetings provide an opportunity for managers to share performance feedback when it is relevant to the employee, and actionable.
Accurate, high quality feedback is essential to effective check-in meetings. Enabling employee performance feedback to be captured instantly, whenever and wherever the performance is observed or the manager thinks of it, ensures that the feedback is most accurate and not forgotten.
Allowing managers to send appropriate feedback instantaneously to their assigned employees is consistent with Continuous Performance Management principles. For example, a brief “thank you” or “job well done” may best be delivered electronically by email or app while the employee would most appreciate it, especially if the manager isn’t able to deliver the message in-person at that time.
By contrast, developmental feedback should almost always be discussed face-to-face in a check-in meeting. This provides the opportunity for employee to understand the concern in detail and work with the manager to create an action plan to avoid similar problems in the future.
Problematic feedback with ineffective developmental content, inappropriate language, or worse should never be delivered to the employee. Instead, a Human Resource Professional should coach the manager so that he can provide constructive feedback to his assigned employees.
The key to avoiding problematic feedback and maximixing the effectiveness of developmental feedback is to automatically identify and intercept only feedback that requires review by a Human Resource Professional to determine if further action is required (such as fine-tuning the content of developmental feedback to make it most effective), while allowing all other feedback to flow normally to the recipient as directed by the feedback creator.
By queuing only feedback that meets the specified criteria, administration by Human Resource Professionals to review, edit and approve or reject feedback is minimized. When feedback is queued for review, Smart Delivery specifies the criteria that caused it to be queued, so the Human Resource Professional instantly knows what to look for when the feedback is reviewed.
SnapEval’s patent pending Smart Delivery features uniquely enable HR Professionals to proactively coach a manager before his feedback is shared with the employee.
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I’m David Yeaple, VP of Business Development and Product Management at SnapEval, LLC. I’d love to get your feedback about this blog, our products or anything else related to employee performance management. You can reach me at dyeaple@SnapEval.com or +1 585-414-5000.