Employee Performance

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Employee Performance Reviews: Best Practices

Some best practices for conducting employee performance reviews are focusing on an employee's strengths, giving employees feedback on a consistent basis, giving more recognition for employee accomplishments, giving more casual, on-the-spot performance reviews rather than formal reviews, and giving negative feedback in a more constructive way. Some U.S. based companies (including those operating in the areas of marketing, creative, and entertainment) that are employing these best practices are Deloitte, Adobe, Google, and GE. A deep dive of these findings has been provided below:

PRACTICE 1: FOCUS ON AN EMPLOYEE'S STRENGTHS

Why it's a best practice:

  • Managers who were given feedback about their strengths improved their profitability by 8.9%.
  • Employees who have managers that focus on areas of employee weakness are less likely to be engaged by 26%.

Examples of companies implementing this practice:

  • Adobe's performance feedback aims to "recognize strong work."
  • Deloitte redesigned their performance management strategy to focus on spending more time helping employees develop and use their strengths through employee evaluation and strength identification.

PRACTICE 2: GIVE EMPLOYEE'S FEEDBACK ON A CONSISTENT BASIS

Why it's a best practice:

  • Companies that provide feedback to employees on a regular basis have lower turnover rates than companies that don't, by 14.9%.
  • 24% of employees say they would think about quitting their job if they were not being given adequate feedback.

Examples of companies implementing this practice:

  • Google: On top of annual performance reviews, Google also gives employees monthly performance check-ins in the form of one-on-one meetings.
  • Deloitte gives employees performance feedback once a week.

PRACTICE 3: OFFER A GREATER WEALTH OF RECOGNITION FOR AN EMPLOYEE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Why it's a best practice:

  • 69% of employees said that having more/better recognition for their efforts would motivate them to work harder.
  • Employees who don't feel recognized by their employer are almost twice as likely to be looking or interviewing for a new job.

Examples of companies implementing this practice:

  • Adobe's ongoing performance feedback system focuses on recognizing an employee's work.
  • Adobes incorporates a system where employees can submit their own accomplishments

PRACTICE 4: OFFER ON-THE-SPOT PERFORMANCE REVIEWS RATHER THAN FORMAL REVIEWS

Why it's a best practice:

  • Among Generation Y, 80% said they would rather have recognition on-the-spot rather than a formal review.
  • 68% of employees say that they feel fulfilled in their jobs when they are given feedback on an ongoing basis.

Examples of companies implementing this practice:

  • Adobe uses a system of ongoing discussions, or "check-ins", between managers and employees focused on performance feedback.
  • GE uses a multi-channel approach in order to offer ongoing performance feedback. These channels include face-to-face, email, and also through a special app GE has implemented called a performance development (PD) app. Jennifer Beihl, GE's culture and HR learning leader, has noted that continuous feedback is a part of their approach.

PRACTICE 5: DELIVER NEGATIVE FEEDBACK IN A CONSTRUCTIVE WAY

Why it's a best practice:

  • 92% of employees said they agree that negative feedback is an effective tool for performance improvement, as long as it is delivered appropriately.

Examples of companies implementing this practice:

  • Deloitte provides their employees with what they refer to as 'course correction' and 'coaching'.
  • At GE, the expectation is also that managers provide coaching rather than 'critiques'.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To carry out this research, we began by locating hard data at the cross-section of employee performance reviews and employee retention, motivation, and improvement that spoke to the successful outcomes of these best practices. In doing so, we located a wealth of data that showcased the success of the best practices from the employee perspective, such as whether a certain practice enticed the employees to stay or leave a company, or whether the best practice made the employees feel motivated, etc.

Next, we analyzed various case studies to identify companies that were implementing these best practices. To ensure that the best practices we provided were specific to the marketing, creative, and entertainment industries, we isolated case studies about companies that are operating under these umbrellas, such as Deloitte, Adobe, and Google. Although it was a challenge to locate relevant case studies that fit this criterion, we felt these companies were the closest available match to focus on because Deloitte offers consulting and analytics services, Adobe provides creative and marketing services and solutions, and Google offers a range of entertainment/creative products and services such as YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Chromecast, and G-Suite, as well as advertising services and products.

Lastly, to keep this research focused on the U.S. market, we focused on companies located in the United States, such as the companies noted above and also GE.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Employee Performance Reviews: Case Studies

The Media Kitchen is a New York-based media planning, and communications agency achieved transparency, great feedback, and approvals in how they award their bonuses, salaries, review staffers.

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS: CASE STUDIES

CASE STUDY #1: THE MEDIA KITCHEN

WHAT THE COMPANY IS DOING:
HOW WELL IT’S WORKING:
WHAT’S NOT WORKING / WHAT CAN BE DONE BETTER

Research Strategy

INTRODUCTION:
  • Information regarding how companies in the marketing/creative/ entertainment industry in the US approach employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions with 50 employees and no more than 150 employees is very niche, making it not available through publicly available sources.
  • We were able to identify one such company from Adweek, but the source was older than 24 months.
  • However, it is still included because information regarding the market is very limited.
STRATEGY 1:
  • We started our search by looking through various credible media blogs that generally cite such industry standards, practices, and approaches for their employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. These media blogs include Adweek, Huffpost, Inc, Forbes, Benchmarkbusinessus.Com, Publishersweekly.Com, Smallbusiness.Chron.Com, Mckinsey, Deloitte, among others. However, these focused on general practices related to employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. We later checked for scholarly reports from HBR, sloanreview.mit.edu, pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu, and others, because scholarly reports generally provide case studies or information about the industry approaches, but these also were focused on the Performance Management’s Digital Shift and/or covered big players in the IT/ITeS industry and not the small firms. Hence, this strategy failed to yield any desired result.
STRATEGY 2:
  • We later decided to identify the desired results by identifying various alternative data points for triangulation. For this, we looked for the small media and entertainment industry in the United States. The idea was to check small companies in the given industry and check for their employee size and their approach towards employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. We checked the SBA of US, according to which there are 106,357 companies with 1-20 employees and 122,089 companies with 1-499 employees in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation industry. We also tried locating the names of these small companies through agencylist.org, upcity.com, goodfirms, themanifest.com, among others. These sources provided the list of Top Advertising Agencies in All 50 States, Top 10+ Digital Marketing Companies USA 2019, Top 100 Advertising & Marketing Companies, Top 10 Digital Marketing Agencies for Small Businesses. We then selected a sample of five of the companies from the list with 50-150 employees as per the research criteria. We then scoured the data from third-party sources like the Medium, HuffPost, company websites, news/press releases but none of these websites identified the company’s approach towards employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. Additionally, there was no mention regarding the marketing/advertising companies on the list. Hence, this strategy also failed to yield fruitful results.
STRATEGY 3:
  • We then checked various industry associations and organizations such as the American Association of Independent Music, Association of American Publishers, Copyright Alliance, Creative Future, Entertainment Small Business Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, Motion Picture Association of America, National Association of Broadcasters, and others to check if they have any standard listed or how companies in the marketing/creative/ entertainment industry in the US should approach employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. However, these also did not yield any such approaches regarding employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. Hence, this strategy also failed to yield fruitful results.
STRATEGY 4:
  • We also checked for employee reviews in related websites like Glassdoor, Linkedin, Indeed, among others. These sources showcased some pain points in the reviews section for the companies in the marketing/creative/entertainment industry in the US but did not cover the approach of the companies towards employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions. The idea was to check if they have listed any method and the feedback of employees towards it to form a case study, but due to lack of information, this strategy also failed.
STRATEGY 5:
  • Lastly, we looked for general approach employee performance reviews, raises, and promotions in US-based companies from reliable sources such as Techcrunch, Adweek, Demand Metric, Forbes, HRdailyadvisor, hr.toolbox among others. However, the information we found was not related to the industry and employee size mentioned in the research criteria. The idea behind this was to check for general approaches and then scour for the marketing/creative/entertainment companies among them, but these sources mostly identified how companies like GE, Adobe, and Deloitte get rid of the performance review with one on ones and other related information.
Sources
Sources