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Talent Management Performance Reviews

Take the Hassle out of Performance Reviews with These Tips

November 26, 2017
4 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


For decades, many HR professionals and managers have endured the dreaded once-a-year hassle of employee performance reviews. For a lot of companies, it doesn’t look like annual reviews are changing anytime soon. In recent years, however, some businesses are beginning to realize that the once-a-year performance review model doesn’t work for their culture or employees.

So why is this time-honored tradition falling out of favor? Most HR professionals cite the following as their main issues. Annual performance reviews are:

  • Too time-consuming
  • Too much paperwork
  • One-sided
  • Inaccurate
  • Unhelpful

Fortunately, we don’t have to throw out the whole system of reviews to make some improvements. All it really takes is a little tweaking. Check it out:

More Now, Less Later

Traditional performance reviews take forever — there’s no way around it. The more employees you have, the longer it’s going to take. So when considering a change to more frequent feedback, you may be concerned that it’s going to take even more of your time. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. Increasing performance review frequency can actually decrease your total time spent in formal reviews.

Spending too much time on annual reviews? The solution may surprise you! @ClearCompany

When you make feedback more frequent - for example, once a month or even once a week - you don’t need to spend as much time discussing specific projects or pulling all of the information together, for that matter. Only 21% of employees agree their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Increasing feedback frequency will be a boon to improve this: 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs.

Have a Conversation

Now that we’ve covered time spent let’s talk about the social aspect of increased frequency. Currently, only 14% of employees agree that performance reviews inspire them to improve. With more frequent check-ins, employees are already on the same page, and formal reviews can be more meaningful with discussions on career growth and more.

Bonus Content: Download our Ultimate 2020 Guide to Performance Reviews

Many millennials don't feel their employers are actually invested in their professional development. Open communication and discussion build trust and understanding and help you retain your top employees because 61% of employees say trust between them and their senior management is very important to job satisfaction.

Keep it 360

Because performance management should be an ongoing conversation, that means it should also be reciprocal. Invite two-way feedback so the conversation feels more natural and less like a teacher giving a lecture. In fact, managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability.

Are your employees feeling defensive? Annual performance reviews could be the culprit! @ClearCompany

Indeed, learning and growing as a manager may help you retain employees in the long run. A recent study revealed that 50% of US adults have left jobs just to escape managers. Getting feedback from those who are beneath you is a great way to improve yourself and your company. Here are some tips on effectively receiving upward feedback:

  • Utilize technology and anonymity
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Don’t hold grudges against employees
  • Ask for an explanation where necessary
  • Act on it!

The biggest problem with annual performance reviews is they’re too much work for too little return. Increasing frequency solves that problem because the time spent overall will remain more or less the same, but your return on time spent will increase with higher productivity and more engaged employees.

How frequently you decide to go will vary based on your culture and employees, but once a year just isn’t cutting it anymore. In fact, 61% of Millennials say they would switch to a company with no annual performance reviews at all! And if you need an easy way to give and receive employee feedback, ClearCompany’s complete Performance Review Software has you covered.

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