Two answers: yes… but also… no…
Bear with me! YES – the once per year discussion about performance is ridiculous, and is (or should be) dead and buried. Much has been said about the benefits of employee performance being discussed regularly, praise given freely (daily?), and addressing performance issues in real time as they happen. Each one of your employees should have no questions about how s/he is performing.
HOWEVER, I still think you should meet with everyone on your team, on at least an annual basis – but not necessarily to review performance. What should you do instead?
Your annual meeting should be about how to keep your employees happy – use this time to make sure employees are getting want they want from your organization. Remember: gone are the days of company loyalty, people leave when they don’t get what they want.
This meeting can be short, anywhere from 15 – 60 minutes depending on your timing constraints. Develop your questions in advance and send them prior to the meeting to allow your employee time to prepare. Ask them:
• Are they getting enough professional development opportunities?
• Is there anything the organization can be doing differently to support them?
• Are there any projects at work they want to contribute to or innovate?
• Are they happy with their benefits – specifically any work flex arrangements?
Encourage employees to make goals that THEY want to make about their own professional development – not necessarily goals about what they can do for your organization.
But…What If I Don’t WANT to Re-Recruit Someone?
Still have a short, annual 15 – 30 minute meeting that WILL be more performance based (if their performance is lacking) – but put the onus on the employee to verbalize what they might need or how they think they’ll be able to try to meet the goals they’re pursuing, ask how the organization can help.
There are other ways…
Consider your company culture and work atmosphere – there are lots of different iterations of good performance review programs – what changes can you make to yours to make it a more meaningful and engaging process for your team?