We see performance reviews as a part of the norm of working in an office, but does it have to be this way? Is no more performance reviews the way to go? Getting rid of performance reviews has become a hot topic of debate in these recent years. With big companies like Accenture, GE, Microsoft, and Deloitte all announcing that they’re getting rid of them, let’s look into what’s going on to try and understand the big shift.
What are they saying about performance reviews?
Financially and timewise. The amount of resources dedicated to the annual performance review is one of the first things people criticize when talking about them. Right before the performance reviews, managers are seen frantically gathering and filling out paperwork, and employees watch stressed unable to focus on their work. With all that time managers spend running around, they are also losing productive time, and ultimately costing the company in labour hours.
When these performance reviews are an annual occurrence, the things that are gone over in the meeting tend to be occurrences that happened more recently, rather than 10 months ago. This means that if an employee was stellar for 9 out of the 12 months, but the last three months struggled to meet their quota, then that would be the subject of discussion during the meeting. Employees feel that this is unfair, and so should managers.
With the traditional reviews being evaluated by an employee’s direct supervisor, it’s hard to justify what you’ve done outside of the supervisor’s scope of view. Employees have been advocating for more peer review type reviews in order to incorporate more than one opinion in the evaluations. This makes sense when taking into consideration that there may be bonuses, and salary increases on the line, you’d want more than just one person’s opinion going into the decision.
Imagine you set a goal to lose 30 pounds in a year. But, the only time you can check your progress is at the end of the year. This is essentially what employees are feeling when it comes to setting goals for their performance reviews. People feel that there aren’t enough “check ups” or status updates when it comes to reflecting on the goal they had set at the beginning of the year.
If no more performance reviews, then what?
Increasingly, companies have moved into doing monthly, bi-weekly, or on demand one-on-one meetings. Here, employees get to go over their goals more frequently with their managers, instead of the annual performance review. Giving feedback to employees more regularly can help steer them in the right direction, ultimately increasing their productivity. Now that we know why other companies are getting rid of performance reviews, maybe it’s time to look into your own organization to see: is it time for you to jump on the “no more performance reviews” wagon?