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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsLeadershipUse Performance Reviews to Actually Manage for Performance (Not Just to Comply with HR Policy)

Use Performance Reviews to Actually Manage for Performance (Not Just to Comply with HR Policy)


Do you do annual performance reviews for your employees?

You may have previously read in this blog that I don’t believe in the annual performance review. Instead, I am a firm believer in managing for performance.

You need regular (and by that I mean at intervals appropriate for the job) reviews that present an opportunity to discuss progress for the period under review for key performance metrics of the person being reviewed. This is an exercise in coaching your employee to enable them to be a top performer. 

A review is not:

  • A kick-ass, take no prisoners critique of someone’s performance
  • A one way discussion from the boss to the subordinate
  • An exercise in “I am so much smarter than you” from the boss
  • A scolding that leaves the employee bruised and battered

And yet, many employees feel just that way when they leave the review. 

The “annual review”, out of necessity, needs to be a simple roll up of the previous eleven (or more) discussions held over the course of the year. It should not be a surprise wrap up of the year. It should not be the first and last review of the year.

An article from Tony Slimmings about the annual performance review offers an informative perspective. He writes, “there is the tendency to place too much emphasis on the actual processes and systems which are in place (ensuring the annual box ticking exercise and paperwork is completed) rather than understanding performance management is about ensuring positive business outcomes”.

Sadly, this is too often true.

Employee EngagementEngaging Employees Means Getting the Performance Review Process Right

In the employee engagement surveys I have done, performance reviews/feedback is almost always one of the lowest scored items in the survey. It seems that companies are unlikely to do a good job on feedback on performance, in spite of the clear knowledge that it is a significant variable in engaging employees.

The reason most companies give me for this is that they don’t have time to do the regular reviews. 

Well, regular performance reviews and feedback are one of the top three ways to improve employee engagement (watch my video for a discussion about the top three ways to improve employee engagement). And employee engagement has major impacts on productivity, profitability, and growth.

So when you say you “don’t have time” for regular performance reviews, you’re telling me you “don’t have time” to improve your company’s bottom line.

>> Workplace Engagement Insights can help you build a highly engaged, top performing workforce. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me to discuss your needs.

Start improving employee engagement right away. Download my FREE cheatsheet: Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 Minutes

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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