Performance Reviews are Dead

You hate them, your mangers hate them, your HR department hates them…it’s the annual performance review.

There has been a lot of hype over the past few years where some large companies (GE, Deloitte, Microsoft, Adobe, Gap, Accenture) have decided to kill the annual performance review all together.


So why do people hate performance reviews so much? One survey listed these as the main reasons: 

• The process is too time-consuming

• Most annual reviews are One-way conversations

• Managers can be biased

• Objectives are mismatched

• They tend to only focus on the negative aspects not what employee did well 

• Usually no follow-up given after the review

• Usually no feedback given after the review

• Employee can be blindsided by results

• It’s a rear view approach – Issues are discussed too late: Managers 

• Only discuss recent topics not items that happened early in the year

• They can be based on anecdotal memory

When you are a large company these things can become very unwieldy.  But if you are a small company what do you do? Adopt a cumbersome process? Just don’t do them? Or is there something in between that might help managers get the information they need with regard to employee performance while giving employees the feedback they crave?

 I’ve advocated in many blog posts on this site using the ‘3 Question Sessions’ where managers have quick one-on-one meetings with their direct reports and ask these 3 questions every week.

1. What did you do last week that you are proud of?

2. What would you like to learn next week?

3. How can I help you?

When managers and employees create an on-going dialog then everyone gets what they want. Managers know exactly what their people are working on and employees get the feedback they crave. Win – Win and in my book this is always a good thing!

If you’re not sure where to start implementing these types of sessions, give us a call or drop us a note.  It’s what we do everyday and we’d be happy to help you.