As the conclusion of 2020 draws near, we’ve seen many new and interesting trends around the construction industry. It’s been a challenging year to say the least, and we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times by sharing industry insights, career advice, current events, and market trends. We’ve covered everything from how to become more resilient during the pandemic to combating racism on job sites. The topic of annual performance reviews is something that we might have mentioned in previous posts but is a relevant issue that deserves attention. Since it’s the time of year when many construction leaders schedule formal evaluations with their employees, perhaps it’s a good time to review why some experts consider annual assessments to be ineffective, and even look at some other options. Below we’ll cover some annual performance review alternatives that construction firms can use to evaluate employees.

Cons of Traditional Reviews

Since the cons are starting to outweigh the pros, many construction leaders are transitioning away from annual reviews in favor of providing employees with more consistent feedback and coaching throughout the year. But managers aren’t the only people who dislike them. According to recent anonymous employee surveys conducted by some companies, most employees loath formal reviews too. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major disadvantages before considering some alternatives.

  • They cause stress on employees and managers alike. Many employees today are already suffering from too anxiety, and performance reviews can further distract and demotivate a workforce.
  • They don’t support positive reinforcement. Employees learn more when feedback directly follows particular events.
  • They are very time consuming. Managers are already overburdened with budgets, goals, etc. and don’t have time to create meaningful reviews for every employee.

Better Alternatives

Whether weekly or even monthly, it’s more beneficial to meet one-on-one with employees on a regular basis so they can ask questions and receive coaching. It’s important to ask employees how they feel about the job they are doing and where they can make improvements. But it’s not always prudent to scrap annual reviews completely. A more successful approach could be supplementing them with feedback apps that enable consistent feedback. For instance, if there are significant work developments, then employees don’t have to potentially wait 11+ months until their next review. The Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) technique is still being used successfully by some construction leaders. Instead of scheduling formal meetings with employees, you can simply get out there and mingle with team members, ask them questions, and listen to what they have to say. Then, always inform talented candidates that you have big plans for them if they stay with the organization long term.

If you’re not getting the results that you want from annual performance reviews, then
try supplementing them with regular coaching and having quality conversations with employees while walking around jobsites. Technology can make giving and receiving feedback more efficient as well.



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