Best Practices in Employee Performance Reviews

It's time for calendar-year entities to engage in midyear employee performance reviews. Love them or hate them, performance reviews can help employers improve employee productivity and boost morale. But they're often rushed or underappreciated. Here's how you can get more from this administrative chore.

employee review

Mixed Reviews

A recent Gallup poll found that only one in five employees felt the company's performance review process is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Roughly the same percentage believes that the metrics assessed during the review process are within their control.

Similarly, a Leadership IQ survey found that only 13% of employees and managers think the performance review process is useful. More telling, only 6% of CEO respondents — the people who set the tone for their organizations — found the process useful at their organizations.

Clearly, these attitudes are a problem. If managers don't think reviews are useful, they become a rote task with little meaning. They're seen as a form of compensation announcement, not useful feedback. And if employees think they're useless, or demeaning, they won't value the feedback. Even star employees may dread performance reviews, and many managers feel the same way. After all, you're either judging or being judged — and both can be uncomfortable.

However, performance reviews have become a necessary evil that companies can't seem to do without. According to a 2019 study by management consulting firm McKinsey, organizations that eliminated performance ratings soon discovered that they needed some type of "annual documented administrative evaluation" to justify employees' promotions, raises, bonuses and other employment decisions. The companies often created "ghost" ratings that were used internally, but not shared with employees. This turned out to be just another type of performance review.

Best Practices

What can your organization do to make the process less burdensome, more meaningful — and even motivational? Consider these tips:

For More Information

How are performance reviews perceived at your organization? Consider polling managers and staff on how effective your process is and how it could be improved. Your HR department might also provide training to managers to better understand issues such as motivation and ability — and how the review process can be used to improve employee performance.

Contact your professional advisors to help evaluate your review process, identify and track the costs involved, provide additional training, and establish measurable and achievable goals.

We Help You Get to Your Next Level™

Get in touch today and find out how we can help you meet your objectives.

Call Us