Motivation: Should we go Back to School?

5 min read

Today’s guest post is written by Tom Castley, Vice President, EMEA. There is much debate to determine the best method of evaluating people, spanning from childhood and school, to adulthood and working life. Should evaluations be modular, where you are continually assessed throughout on different units, or linear where you are assessed at the end of a course or year? Which one provides more motivation? We are now experiencing an influx of Millennials entering the workforce who will have been ‘conditioned’ at school to have a modular mind-set, due to the way they were assessed throughout their education. As a result, it only makes sense then that they would be more responsive to regular evaluations when entering the working world – as they did when they were at school. Recent news that Goldman Sachs is moving from annual performance reviews to a system of ongoing feedback is an interesting development. This new format is extremely positive as it will enable both managers and employees to provide continuous feedback through a system that tracks performance on an continuous basis. It is is much more constructive than the annual review process, enabling employees to take steps to improve their work throughout the year, as well as giving opportunities for ongoing recognition for positive achievements. The next step will be for institutions like Goldman Sachs to link this ongoing performance tracking to financial remuneration. Recent research has found that young financial services workers are dissatisfied with the existing system of annual rewards and are frequently disappointed with the size of the bonuses they receive. This may be due to an absence of checkpoints over the course of the year, and as a result employees feel they don’t have a clear view of their compensation and benefits and so lack a view on what a realistic bonus would be. Perhaps young professionals need a real-time, detailed view of their achievements similar to during their school years.It’s not enough to tell employees they will get a bonus ‘if they hit targets’. They need to understand what is required to reach agreed targets, such as sales expectations, and map their performance accordingly. Offering Millennials  this view of performance, and an understanding of the bonus they can attain will inspire them. This approach ensures that the right people are rewarded correctly, and allows employees to achieve the second thing they crave: Recognition. As a result the business will better understand where its success comes from, and its workforce will be encouraged to remain loyal and productive. And finally, all organizations should implement a clear and transparent link between ongoing performance and the projected end of year reward. This manages workers’ expectations, shows them how to maximize their earnings by improving their performance, and ultimately drives ongoing engagement. Smart, performance-based rewards benefit both workers and the company, by improving both productivity and employee satisfaction.

To make sure your evaluation plans are engaging and motivate your employees here are our three tips:

  • Institute a system of ongoing reviews and make sure that employees are getting the regular feedback that they crave
  • Ensure that staff have complete visibility of their progress so that they are able to track their performance
  • Communicate clearly at all times to ensure employees know what is expected of them, to ultimately drive their engagement and reduce disappointment.