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The Benefits of A Bi-Annual Performance Reviews

Creating and executing effective performance reviews can be a challenge for any business. Although giving feedback and incentivizing employees is important, figuring out the format and how frequently to do it can be difficult.

BVA recently concluded our agency’s 2021 Q1 Performance Review Cycle and we wanted to take the opportunity to share our agency’s experience with the benefits of bi-annual review cycles and the impact it has on our team.

When it comes to performance reviews and providing employee feedback, many companies struggle to find the right cadence. Our own agency has, and continues to, iterate upon our own process as we find the right balance for our team.

In this article you’ll find some of BVA’s experience and learnings from our Bi-Annual Performance Reviews!

Why Are Performance Reviews Important?

For our team, performance reviews provide the opportunity to make our agency a better place to work and provide better service to our clients. Our goal is to make our agency the best place where any of our employees have ever worked, and performance reviews are one step in serving that goal.

The most important part of performance reviews (for any company) is the opportunity to provide feedback. Although BVA emphasizes this element, we also strongly encourage our team to provide and ask for regular feedback at all times. We believe that everyone can always be improving and developing in their career, as well as take ownership of feedback.

What Are The Common Types of Performance Review Cycles?

The most common types of performance review cycles are:

  • Annual: Once a year
  • Bi-Annual: Twice a year
  • Quarterly: Four times a year

In addition to the formal review cycles, some companies choose to implement regular 360-degree feedback and engagement survey processes.

Why BVA Has A Bi-Annual Performance Review Cycle

BVA chose to officially implement Bi-Annual reviews in 2019, electing to have a review cycle in February/March and August/September of each year.

Our team chose to opt-into this cadence rather than annual reviews because we wanted to increase the opportunity for feedback and for our employees to consciously consider their career development.

These Bi-Annual Performance Reviews provide the opportunity to:

  1. Make roles clear and consistent. It’s important for our teams to be working effectively and efficiently. This only happens when everyone is clear on what their job is, and through reviews there is an opportunity to clarify and redefine roles.
  2. Set high expectations. With our employees having to consciously reflect on their performance twice a year, it sets an expectation of high performance and striving to always be better.
  3. Create a path for development. Through the review cycle, our employees are not only required to self-review, but also to work on their career development roadmap. We want our employees to be able to progress in their career and make progress against their goals.
  4. Incentivize and align performance. With bi-annual performance reviews providing two opportunities throughout the year for promotions, compensation adjustments, and positive recognition, this process provides further incentive to our employees than annual or sporadic reviews would.
  5. Foster a culture of feedback and learning. Telling our employees to ask for and provide feedback regularly is just one small step. The formalized review process keeps feedback and learning top of mind and ensures that there is an opportunity to discuss these things with one’s manager.

Other Ways to Collect Feedback Outside of Performance Reviews

In an effort to foster a culture of feedback, our agency has aimed to find ways to open feedback channels on a more regular basis than just the formal reviews. Things that can encourage regular feedback include employee pulsecheck surveys, manager 1:1’s, and opening up a ‘suggestion box’ for employees.

In our own agency, we leverage TINYPulse, an anonymous service tool that allows our employees to fill out a weekly pulse check survey and also submit general suggestions. The weekly survey is an anonymous one-question gauge on how employees are feeling at work, and it takes only a couple seconds to complete.

Through TINYPulse, our People & Inclusion team is able to collect data to identify trends about employee satisfaction and see if there are any potential issues in specific departments. It also allows employees to provide feedback to our agency executives completely anonymously, providing greater transparency across the organization.

BVA’s teammates across departments also hold cadences of weekly manager 1:1’s as an opportunity to discuss career development and ask for feedback. All of our employees are encouraged to not shy away from giving and receiving feedback.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you’re a two-person team or a larger agency, performance reviews are likely an important part of your business operations. Providing feedback to employees is essential to growing and operating any organization.

Want to learn more about BVA’s team? Check us out here.

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