When I think about annual performance reviews, I think about homework. And not just any type of homework — I think about big, towering stacks of papers that you know are due at the same time every year but are put off until the last minute.
In a nutshell, it’s a lot of work for both managers and employees, and it often gets pushed aside.
Nimble, a company known for offering an innovative technology platform that makes borrowing money “simple, fast, and stress-free,” wanted this same experience for their company when it came time for annual reviews.
Kerrie Brown, people and culture manager at Nimble, explains,
“When I started about two years ago, we did have an annual engagement survey, but it had been run about six months prior without any follow-up. We wanted to drive employee engagement by creating a culture of feedback and transparency.”
Rather than continuing on with the once-a-year survey model, Nimble began using weekly employee engagement surveys to regularly record and share feedback.
“We wanted to prove to our people that we were aligned with ears wide open,” Brown said. “It was important for us in terms of retention initiatives as well as ongoing initiatives to improve feedback loops and communication across all departments.”
Benefits of Pulse Surveys
Nowadays, Brown spends a few hours a week reviewing the feedback and sharing it with the team through meetings or emails — nowhere near as time-consuming as annual reviews used to be.
And thanks to the anonymous feature embedded in the survey tool, Nimble has seen employees offer feedback and suggestions on sensitive issues like the company’s compensation structure.
“It was definitely a situation where anonymous feedback facilitated an open discussion about the good and bad of the existing system,” Brown said.
So you can spend another year putting off those annual reviews (and cringe at the thought), or you can replace them with something better, just like Nimble did — I know which I’d choose.