Do Annual Reviews Affect Employee Job Satisfaction?

Do reviews affect employee satisfaction?

Globoforce, a social recognition provider that helps companies motivate employees, recently conducted a survey to see if there is a correlation between job satisfaction and employee annual reviews. Interviewing over 700 individuals (who work for companies with 500+ employees within the United States), Globoforce analyzed data to assess how annual reviews affect employee job satisfaction, if at all. If supervisors or managers have any doubts about the mind-blowing effects positive reinforcement and feedback have on employees job satisfaction, they should read the report. Globoforce found remarkable evidence to suggest employee productivity and satisfaction can sky rocket – with just a little extra help from you.

Annual reviews offer little, if any, satisfaction.
According to the candidates surveyed, annual reviews based on only one manager’s critique are perceived as inaccurate. The survey found that many employees, 63% in fact, do not like receiving annual reviews because they’re ‘not a true indication of performance’ and do not provide an authentic view of all their accomplishments.

This makes sense. I currently have an annual review with our CEO and my manager, to discuss my yearly contribution to the company. The difference between my annual review and others I’ve had is my manager’s presence. She sits in to offer feedback but she doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, she offers spontaneous reviews. Whether it’s an email stating she likes one of my ideas, a $25 gift card to my favorite store, or her letting me know I helped secure a new client, feedback like that definitely helps me feel appreciated.

Consider this: Is having only one annual review with your employees making them dissatisfied and more likely to begin job searching? If you have managers constantly offering feedback, showing their employees they are appreciated, take note. Managers of this caliber know what they are doing: keeping employees satisfied and appreciated helps keep turnover low. Delayed gratification doesn’t make for a happy employee. Showing timely appreciation does. Are you showing your employees they’re valued? How often?

A single point of view isn’t always the best. 
When conducting annual reviews, 40% of employees said they disliked annual reviews because of the ‘single point view.’ 80% of employees think that peer reviews (in addition to their managers’ feedback), would depict their work performance more accurately.

Many employees liked the idea of using unsolicited peer reviews to successfully show their yearly work performance, saying it would boost feelings of appreciation and satisfaction. 85% of employees feel ‘more appreciated’ when using peer reviews in addition to manager feedback. Receiving constructive criticism and positive reinforcement from peers and colleagues can be helpful. Your manager might see your workflow in a different light to your peers. As a manager, it’s worth noting how reviews from more than one source can broaden your knowledge on your employee’s work performance; highlight what they’re getting right and what you can help them improve on. 

[Related: What’s happiness got to do with it?

Consider this: Encouraging multiple viewpoints for performance reviews can give you a more accurate picture of your employee’s success. Receiving positive feedback from peers can make your employees feel more appreciated, boost productivity and have your employee feel more satisfied with their career. If their peers mention something they need to work on, you can expect improvement and growth. Have you thought about opening these lines of communication in your department?

In my opinion, annual reviews aren’t bad but that’s because my manager makes me feel appreciated regularly, not annually. I used to work for a company that relied solely on annual reviews, and honestly, I can barely remember seeing my manager around the office – so how was this individual supposed to offer me an accurate annual review? Managers, supervisors: how do you make your employees feel appreciated and boost their job satisfaction?

Read the Globoforce report here.

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