There is widespread recognition that an annual meeting to evaluate progress does not have the same benefits as ongoing dialogue and feedback. Feedback that is delivered when it is most relevant enhances learning and provides the opportunity to make necessary accommodations in order to meet objectives. Some organizations are moving towards conducting performance reviews twice a year, while a small portion is trying to conduct them more frequently. Regardless of frequency, the attitude towards ongoing feedback is crucial. If there is organizational recognition and support for the need to build constructive feedback into the fabric of day-to-day interactions combined with increased visibility into goals, then the environment will encourage development and drive goal-directed performance improvement.
Design the process right. The performance management process must add value, otherwise problems with resistance and non-participation will surface. In addition, the process itself must be efficient and as simple as possible, while still providing the necessary value. Automated reminders and scheduling tools can help keep the process on track.
Another element to consider that contributes to success is upper level management support. This support needs to take not only the form of verbal support, but also through participation in the same performance management process for evaluations. In addition, consider the current culture of your organization when it comes to performance appraisals and performance management. Is the "atmosphere" supportive of an effective process? Is there a culture of open honest communication or are employees fearful when they make a mistake? Employees must be able to honestly discuss performance and consider how to make improvements in order to move forward.
Another thing to consider is the provision of a mechanism to evaluate the process itself, whether it consists of an annual survey, focus groups, manager feedback, reporting, or a combination of these and other methods.