“I can’t wait for my Performance Review,” said no one ever

performance review

For most managers, performance reviews can feel like just another task to complete, often accompanied by paperwork and the scrutiny of supervisors, HR, and employees themselves. Similarly, many workers find these reviews confusing.

In January 2024, the BambooHR Workforce Insights Report revealed that the average number of employee performance reviews in companies is increasing each year, and hiring rates are surpassing turnover rates.

Ten years ago, a report from the Corporate Executive Board found that almost 90% of HR managers lacked confidence in the accuracy and reliability of their employee appraisals. Critics have long argued that managers often show bias or work with incomplete information, while neuroscientists point out that ranking employees numerically goes against how the human brain functions.

However, with the rise of hybrid work setups, many leaders now believe that reviews are essential because they serve as a counterbalance to the lack of opportunities for informal feedback.

To maximise the impact of performance reviews, it’s crucial to establish a culture of continuous feedback. While reviews provide a structured checkpoint, regular coaching conversations throughout the year allow managers to address challenges, celebrate wins, and offer ongoing support for employee development.

As more employees work from home for at least part of the week, the informal interactions and feedback that naturally occur in office settings are reduced. Performance reviews provide a structured mechanism for managers to assess employee performance, provide constructive feedback, and set goals, ensuring that employees receive support they need to succeed, even in remote work environments. This is particularly important as recent redesigns of performance management systems have focused on less frequent appraisals, making formal reviews a vital component of employee development and engagement.

Irrespective of the employee’s work setup and location, it’s crucial for leaders and managers to know how to coach in the moment. Make the performance review an opportunity to improve attitude, behaviour and skill.

A performance review should result in:

  • Enhanced alignment at a high level
  • Improved implementation of shared learnings across the business
  • Strengthened capabilities in delivering corporate strategy, growth, and upskilling
  • Heightened appreciation of the benefits of collaborative work and breaking down silos, with a focus on collective outcomes.

Adopting the process of performance reviews is not just about ticking boxes—it’s about equipping teams with the insights and support they need to thrive in today’s competitive environment.

Coaching for performance

As leaders handle performance reviews and coaching, it’s essential to equip themselves with the right tools and strategies. If you find yourself seeking guidance in coaching your team for better performance, Dan Collins offers a workshop for a limited time. Click here to find out more.

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