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Are performance reviews worth it?

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Are performance reviews worth it?

One in four employees says performance appraisal process isn't effective.

The performance review is getting mixed reviews from workers, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. Although most (79%) human resources managers interviewed said they schedule these meetings at least annually, one in four employees feel the assessments do not help improve their performance. This contrasts with 89% of HR managers who believe their organization's performance appraisal process is at least somewhat effective.

More than a quarter (27%) of companies hold reviews at least twice a year, a 9-point jump from a similar survey in 2010.


"All performance appraisals are not created equal. Companies need to determine the format and frequency of these assessments that works best for their employees," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Aside from formal reviews, regularly checking in with staff and providing feedback throughout the year can keep everyone on the same page."

Hosking added, "Love them or hate them, performance discussions can be an effective tool, as long as both managers and workers properly prepare."

The firm suggested five tips for managers when conducting performance appraisals:   

  1. Get a head start. Check in with your HR representative regarding forms and guidelines for the meeting. Take time to reflect on employee achievements and whether expectations were met.
  2. Have others weigh in. Seek feedback from colleagues who regularly work with the staff member to receive the full picture. You may uncover new insights.  
  3. Encourage active participation. Let workers know what to expect from the performance appraisal and how they can prepare in advance. Ask employees to compile a list of accomplishments, obstacles and goals for the discussion. Remember, it's a two-way conversation.
  4. Choose your words carefully. When critiquing worker performance, give specific, constructive feedback, as well as suggestions for improvement. Also acknowledge the employee's recent successes.  
  5. Focus on the future. Reach an agreement on objectives for the coming period and regular checkpoints for assessing progress. Discuss any resources or support the worker needs.

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