I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business”. Richard Branson 

In an effort to attract and retain top talent, organizations are recognizing they need to move away from static environments to creating organizations where people actually want to spend their time. Making this shift to focus on nurturing individual differences requires organizations to put the employee at the very heart of their thinking and provide them comprehensive services that match their needs at every step of their journey. Doing away with the traditional performance review is just the start. 

What do today’s employees want?

Simply put, employees want to work in an environment where information is freely available, the company adds value to their lives, the work itself is intrinsically rewarding and there are no silly rules in place - think frequent feedback, open communication, and collaboration with peers. But in order to establish a fun, fulfilling and dynamic workplace, organizations need to remove the barriers to their implementation - like the performance review. 

The ugly truth about performance ranking

In a world that is becoming more and more agile, with a heavy focus on investing in the employee experience, performance reviews are presenting as a challenge to creativity. By placing a heavy emphasis on monetary rewards and punishments, they hold people accountable for past behavior. This comes at the expense of improving performance and nurturing talent for the future, both of which are essential for an organization's’ sustainability and success. But how do we adopt and integrate a culture of regular and personalized feedback into the future fabric of organizations?

The role of leadership 

The biggest power that a leader possesses is freedom of discretion and decision making. The question we need to ask ourselves is, is this role about managing performance, or managing behavior that will produce the performance? This is why we cannot discredit the value of a strong and capable leadership pipeline and astute managers to help run a business effectively. The truth is, if organizations want to develop high performers, leaders need to be skilled to empower them. And in order to empower them, they need to understand them -  by way of effective coaching and intrinsic rewards, not through rigid and usually outdated reviews that focus on structured sessions as opposed to tackling difficult conversations.

If we fast forward to the future, when annual reviews are extinct, the role of leadership will be to have more meaningful relationships with their employees by tapping the full range of people’s knowledge and talents. But in order to get there, we need to let employees be themselves and provide them with the autonomy, flexibility and scope to do so. By making the shift from performance dialogue to a growth dialogue, organizations will enable leadership with the skill-set to support their teams. While it may still be awhile before performance reviews are gone for good, by changing the role of today’s leaders in providing ongoing feedback and open communication, we can build the bridge to a better future of work. 

How are you creating the organization of your dreams?