Annual performance reviews are outdated

shutterstock_149484518-2-18-14SUMMARY: Annual performance reviews are unnecessary and counterproductive in today’s workplace.  Performance feedback should be an ongoing process between a manager and employees and should encourage people rather than “build a case” for possible termination.

If there is one thing almost every employee hates, at every level, it’s the annual employee performance review.  The idea that you should wait a year to review an employee’s performance is dated.  In addition, writing and developing reviews takes too much time that could be better spent solving customers problems.


Some reviews have become so complicated that it takes managers and employees weeks to fill them out, even online.  So what can be done to streamline feedback:

1ne: Managers should make time with their direct reports to regularly review their performance. It should be done via one on one meetings and time should be taken to point out where the employee has succeeded and where they need improvement.

2wo: Most employees know that managers have a limited budget for raises.  The idea that there can only be one top performer in an area is myopic.  Managers should use continuing meetings to fight for their best people because losing them could cost the organization dearly.


3hree: In the case where an employee is underperforming, documentation should be used to show that the person is either not right for the job or is lacking in business skills to succeed but it should not come as a surprise to the employee in doubt.

4our: HR should encourage managers to meet regularly with their people in a casual environment get to know them and understand what motivates them.  I used to meet with my direct reports in the coffee lounge and listened more than I talked.

Finally, HR has to work with managers to improve the culture of openness within the company. This means less emphasis on aspects of HR management that people dislike and more on developing a better culture that is beneficial to shareholders and the company.


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