December 7, 2018

Shifting from Annual Performance Reviews to Quarterly Check-Ins – Our Story

Shifting from Annual Performance Reviews to Quarterly Check-Ins – Our Story Managed Human Resources Services

Late last year, the Human Resources Group at Marcum LLP took a deep look at the nature of our business and the importance of ensuring that our talent had the resources and support to do their best work. From this, we determined that an annual review process was not the best way to support our organization’s talent. The increasing number of millennials in the workplace, coupled with growing research on what fosters engagement and creates a sense of connection between employees and organizations, led us to conclude that having more frequent conversations – aka, quarterly check-ins – best positioned our firm for employee retention and growth.

To implement a shift from annual reviews to quarterly check-ins, we engaged our leadership and employees in conversations around the outcomes we hoped to drive through these discussions. These outcomes include:

  • Robust, timely feedback
  • Helping employees see development opportunities more quickly
  • Preparing employees for promotions sooner
  • Decreasing employee turnover through a greater number of interactions designed to deepen the leader/employee relationship

Focusing on the key objectives of performance management enabled us to redesign a quarterly check-in process that best suited our needs. The outcomes above directly align with the core purpose of our program, which is to promote the right conversations at the right time, with an ongoing focus on improving performance through training and coaching efforts.

Once we connected with the core purpose of our quarterly check-in performance process, the Human Resources Group critically examined specific activities within the process and isolated those that generated the most value for both employees and the firm. The result was a simple process that centered on goal setting, well-crafted questions to generate performance, and talent development discussions based on our firm’s core values, as well as factors that are critical to success within our firm.

It has been nearly a year since we transitioned to quarterly check-ins; already, we have witnessed early signs of increased engagement and connection with the firm. Specifically, we have received feedback that employees know what to expect from the quarterly check-in process, the goal-setting process and their performance coach, and have access to the resources and tools needed to support their success. We also are seeing more focus being placed up-front on identifying and selecting the right developmental and performance goals. Given that these serve as the basis for quarterly check-ins, that’s a positive sign.

If your organization is considering a shift from annual reviews to more frequent conversations with employees (e.g., quarterly check-ins) throughout the year, it’s important to first determine your goals and the specific outcomes you wish to drive prior to implementing a change. This is the foundation upon which to create an engaging and successful performance management experience.

Do you have questions about implementing quarterly check-ins, or other HR challenges? Call us at 440-459-5700.