Why Performance Reviews Won’t Disappear

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 06-13-2016 Email

Be honest with us: Are there times when you'd rather go to the dentist than give another performance review? It's never easy, after all, to come up with a comprehensive summary of an employee's valued contributions, outstanding work qualities and "improvement areas." And then there are review sessions that can get emotionally charged—especially when the staffer in question strongly disagrees with your assessment. Given these and other factors, some organizations are moving toward dispensing with this tradition. But a recent survey from Eagle Hill Consulting sends a "not-so-fast" message to managers who are considering such a step. The report, titled "The Annual Performance Review: Old-School or Timeless Tool?" reveals that—while they're collectively on the fence about chucking annual reviews—most professionals say their last one was a pleasing experience that accurately appraised their contributions. They say these sessions are helpful in benchmarking accomplishments for the past year, while setting expectations for the year ahead. The upshot: CIOs and other managers should seek feedback from their teams as to whether to replace the annual review—or simply give it a slight tweaking. "You must have an established system that gives your people an opportunity to discuss their areas of achievement as well as those in which they need improvement or seek growth," according to the report. "What that process should look like depends upon your company's unique culture and the needs and preferences of your employees." An estimated 1,600 professionals took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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