Why you should stop having performance reviews

The annual performance review. 

Every employee’s favorite moment of their favorite day. They prepare for it, they celebrate it, they wait all year or all quarter for this fun, exciting, stimulating moment—

Clearly: I am joking. 

Nobody likes performance reviews, neither employees nor employers. 

So let’s stop doing them. 

Let’s have Stay Interviews instead. 

What is a stay interview?

A stay interview is what it says on the tin: a conversation with an employee to find out what will make them stay in your business. 

A performance review tends to be one-directional: an employer is reviewing an employee. It sets itself up to be win or lose, right or wrong, and only one party appears to have any power. 

A stay interview involves both parties equally and shifts the responsibility onto the employer to ensure they are creating the right conditions to keep their best workers. 

A stay interview forces introspection from everyone. 

Stay interview essentials

There are two key discussion points for your stay interviews:

“What do you need?”

Employees deserve to be given the right tools for the job. They deserve clear instructions, proper training, and most of all: a healthy work environment. 

Each employee is also an individual, and the more they can build their job around their lives, the better life will be for them. 

Find out what your employees need from you to be good at their jobs, happy at their jobs, and productive in their jobs. 

“What I need”

Employers deserve to see results. You must be able to rely on your employees, trust their commitment, and trust that they participate in your business in a positive way. 

Explain what your expectations are of your employee. Include work outcomes, how you want them to communicate, what you want them to communicate, and more. 

Be explicit about what you need from them, and make sure to keep it simple. 

Healthy conversations

Stay interviews are proving to be more effective than performance reviews, and more productive than employee surveys. 

Because conversation will always win. 

Make sure you are alternating who is speaking – that is the difference between a conversation and two separate presentations – and that you always maintain a healthy dialogue with your team. 

You don’t want your reviews to be “gotcha” moments. You want them to be constructive. 

What next

Test this in your next scheduled conversation with an employee. Not sure how to prepare? Let’s get on a 30-minute discovery call and see what you might be missing.