Performance appraisals are periodic assessments of an employee’s job performance. These reviews highlight the strengths and weaknesses to improve future performance. It also allows managers to suggest areas for improvement and monitor the progress of goals.
While every organization values performance reviews, carrying out an effective system is quite burdensome. One of the frequent questions about performance appraisals is frequency.
How often should performance appraisals be done?
As the name suggests, quarterly reviews are conducted four times a year, usually during the end of each quarter. Quarterly performance appraisals help the manager and employee discuss improvement on short-term goals. It also helps employees get more frequent feedback, keep track of the plans, and make adjustments if needed.
Every Six Months
Performance appraisals every six months are similar to annual reviews, except they are done twice a year. They allow the manager and employee to review the past six months and discuss achievements. Likewise, it provides a chance to suggest areas of improvement and goals for the next six months. Typically, it is done in the middle and end of the calendar or fiscal year.
Annual performance reviews are one of the most popular performance review systems. That’s why many companies have adopted it. Yearly performance appraisals are conducted once a year. Bigger companies traditionally use it since more frequent performance reviews might not be possible given a large number of employees.
How Frequent Should Your Organization Conduct Performance Appraisals?
There’s no concrete answer to how often performance appraisals are administered due to different views against each option. Annual and biannual assessments have been criticized for apparently evaluating performance based on what employees have done in the recent weeks or months. Critics say that not everyone would remember an achievement completed in the first quarter towards the end of December.
Since salary increases and promotions are usually tied to annual reviews, employees are prone to nervousness when a formal panel does it. While the employee’s accomplishments at the assessment period might have been low because of tensions, it didn’t necessarily mean that the employee’s actual performance during the year was terrible.
Reviews conducted semi-annually or annually are great because they provide a way where they can allow time for the appraisal. It is also a platform that gathers company-wide information about valuable performance to the top management.
Although quarterly reviews allow employees to receive feedback from managers frequently, it might not be the best option for a particular organizational structure.
For larger companies, using an annual or biannual review system might be best so that managers are not worried about the logistics of holding formal reviews with direct reports more often.
Is your company new or fast-growing where things change rapidly? Then a quarterly review system might work best to stay attuned to the company’s objectives as the industry landscape changes.
You should choose your company’s performance appraisal system based on the uniqueness and needs of your organization. Whichever method you select, it is still essential to develop a culture of honesty and feedback. Real-time feedback on work performance has a long-term impact on enhancing the capabilities of employees.
The integration of 360-degree feedback into your performance appraisals is also important. Through this, you get a clearer picture of the employee’s progress. The employee is also assured of a fair evaluation.