The New and Improved Performance Review
The New and Improved Performance Review

What good is performance feedback if it occurs in isolation? It's just like the saying: "If a tree falls in the woods..."

“This is where it’s important to have a system that enables a company to join up performance feedback simply and in one place, where they can get a quick view of everything,” says Cheryl Johnson, chief human resources offer at payroll company Paylocity.

Paylocity uses a proprietary tool that stores multiple data points related to the performance review cycle. Employees and managers journal regularly to keep quick notes and recap conversations or meetings, and feedback is consolidated in periodic reviews so employees always know where they stand. “We also maintain performance goals and recognition awards within this same system, so when we sit down to look at the holistic perspective of someone’s performance, we have all data points in the employee’s profile,” explains Johnson.

Johnson is quick to point out that certain data points carry more weight than others, so both leaders and employees need to understand how points are weighted in the overall context of performance.

Paylocity’s Johnson has mastered the notion that different departments have different feedback needs. “Many of our departments leverage the journaling function, which makes giving and receiving continuous feedback informal, yet documented in a place where it’s easy to access when the time comes for formal conversations. Some departments have these formal conversations monthly or quarterly; others have them annually. The cadence aligns with when individual departments can collect insights that improve performance,” she says. And over time, Paylocity has adjusted its continuous feedback approach so it doesn’t require overthinking, is less cumbersome, and is more focused on input that matters – as opposed to providing feedback for its own sake.

Have you improved your performance management system recently? What did your changes entail?