Students receive performance grades each three month long semester. Public companies are required to report their performance each quarter. Then why do most leaders review performance of direct reports annually or semi-annually? This is particularly troublesome when studies have shown the typical leader writing a review only recalls performance over the previous six weeks.
The two biggest reasons given for avoiding quarterly reviews are: 1) leaders don’t have enough time to write the review, and 2) the performance review form is too difficult to use.
Use simple quarterly reviews for at least three of the four quarters in which the leader has the direct report fill out a one-page sheet of paper (5×7 cards work too) answering these four questions:
- What did you accomplish last quarter?
- What are you going to accomplish next quarter?
- How did you demonstrate our core values?
- What are your personal development plans?
Benefits: the leader spends little to no time writing the review, is not hindered by any cumbersome form, and the direct report has committed to the next quarter’s expectations.
Leaders who use simple quarterly reviews to empower direct reports have more success.