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4 Min Read

“I Can’t Wait For The Next Annual Performance Evaluation,” Said No Employee Or Manager Ever!

David Mizne
David Mizne

Have you just completed the latest round of annual employee performance evaluations? Or are you gearing up for the next time you have to be reviewed/review others?

Word on the street is that the traditional definition of what a performance evaluation is is now a thing of the past. But performance reviews are not really dead for most organizations, because they are not devoid of all merit. Progressive companies are fitting employee performance evaluations into continuous performance management philosophies that includes regular communication, employee feedback, and a process to clearly define and track priorities.

Nobody Likes Performance Evaluations

We teamed up with Alan Colquitt, author of Next Generation Performance Management, to explore ratings & compensation in performance management. Check out the video above to learn more.

It comes as no surprise that employees hate annual performance evaluations. Who likes being put on the hot seat to be scrutinized? While reviews are supposed to reflect on the arc of employee performance over the preceding 12 months, they tend to only address the last few weeks of work. Consequently, a performance evaluation tends to be inaccurate and subject to all sorts of biases.

Employee fears and concerns are significant, since in many cases a poor employee performance evaluation can mean denial of advancement or increased compensation, or in some cases can lead to termination. But employees are not alone in their loathing of this archaic business practice:

According to Deloitte, 58% of executives believe their current performance measurement process does not drive employee engagement and high performance.

Only 4% of HR managers think their system of assessing employees is effective at measuring performance.

62% of managers agree that performance reviews are outdated ways of managing performance.

66% of employees say the annual performance evaluation process interferes with their productivity.

The Answer: Continuous Performance Management

For a performance evaluation practice between managers and employees to be effective, it can not stand alone. Reviews must complement other practices that fit an overall management philosophy, like regular employee feedback. So, it’s time to redefine what is a performance evaluation.

For example, when GE killed its performance evaluation after 3 decades, they implemented an application called PD@GE (Performance Development at GE). Employees focus on near-term priorities and have frequent conversations with managers regarding progress.

GE Managers provide positive coaching throughout the year, which culminates in the “annual summary conversation”. This includes a retrospective and future goal-setting, but doesn’t involve pay or advancement discussions. It’s a conversation that lacks the awe-inspiring formalities of what a traditional annual performance evaluation is.

For more examples of companies who are ahead of the curve, and the details of a proven continuous performance management strategy, check out the infographic below:

David Mizne is Marketing Communications Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and reviews. David’s articles have appeared on The Next Web & TalentCulture. Follow him @davidmizne.