Performance Reviews

Top reasons to reconsider traditional performance reviews

It’s that infamous time of year again: the end-of-year performance reviews. But when was the last time you reviewed your own processes? Are they working, or is it just how they’ve always been done? Could you turn it into something less time consuming, and more meaningful?

While it may seem safer to stick with the familiar, holding on to an outdated process may be hurting you more than you think.

Below are some eye-opening stats that might convince you to take the plunge. Have a look, and then we’ll ask you again if you think it’s time to launch a new review of your own.

  1. Managers spend 210 hours a year on performance management.

    According to insight and technology company CEB this is the average time managers spend on performance management. Not only that, a company of 10,000 people spends about $35 million a year on performance reviews alone, and yet...

  2. Only 6% of organizations believe their current performance review process is valuable.

    So why are we still spending so much a time on something that doesn’t seem to provide value for anyone? Realizing they weren’t getting enough out of the processes they used to have in place Accenture, Adobe and co. all decided to say goodbye to traditional performance reviews, replacing them with more frequent check-ins and continuous  feedback.

  3. 58% of organizations use spreadsheets to track performance.

    Is this really the most efficient way to run a process that is meant to support professional development? The amount of manual labour this requires is a sure fire way to develop company-wide carpal tunnel. Streamlining your process with the help of a platform like Impraise is not only faster and more easily scalable, it also delivers the insights needed to make performance reviews meaningful.

  4. 22% of employees have called in sick rather than face a performance review.

    Another 35% have complained to their peers, 15% have cursed and 15% have cried. Rather than creating a sense of dread, performance reviews should be an opportunity to give people clarity on their strengths and development areas, and be empowered to improve.

  5. 74% of millennials feel “in the dark” about their performance.

    When performance reviews are held once a year, the results often come as a surprise. By sharing regular, actionable feedback, people know their objectives and how they are performing, ensuring they’re not blindsided when the annual review comes around.

  6. 47% of millennials started looking for another job after receiving their results.

    People do not engage with their company and role  if they don’t feel they can learn and grow. Eventually they’ll start looking for opportunities elsewhere, and, as Adobe’s recent study of over 1500 office workers has revealed: 47% already have.

  7. 57% of employees feel performance reviews breed unhealthy competition.

    While now largely discredited by major companies, ‘stack ranking’ is still used by roughly 14% of them as a way of managing performance reviews. This method breeds competition and toxic work environments. Instead, people should be encouraged by their managers to continuously develop their skills for their own professional growth, knowing how this contributes to company goals overall.

  8. 9 in 10 HR leaders don’t believe the results of the annual performance reviews are accurate.

    Business consultant Marcus Buckingham believes this can be attributed to the what psychologists term the idiosyncratic rater effect. On average, 61% of a rating is based more on the rater than the ratee. When reviews only come from managers, this effect can greatly increase the possibility of bias in performance reviews. Instead, bringing more perspectives into the equation with a 360 degree review allows for a more balanced view of a person’s performance.

  9. 95% of managers are dissatisfied with how their companies conduct performance reviews.

    Meanwhile, 59% of employees feel they have no impact on how they do their job, with another 58% agreeing that it’s merely an HR requirement. Performance reviews should accelerate the speed at which managers and individuals learn and grow. They should also give managers the tools they need to become effective coaches and leaders rather than result in everyone feeling frustrated.  

  10. 70% of multinational companies are already overhauling their performance management models.

    Still aren’t sure whether it’s the right time to act? Today, agility is everything. To survive, companies need to be able to innovate, adapt, and reorient at a fast pace. This requires an agile workforce that is constantly ready to learn and improve new skills. HR analyst Josh Bersin estimates that 70% of multinational companies are now in the process of moving towards a more effective model of performance management.

So, is it time to launch your own review?


It may seem like a scary journey to embark on, but it’s one that will pay off in the long run for you and your team. We speak to HR professionals in your position every day, offering an outside perspective that often helps evaluate your options more clearly.

In just 30 minutes, we’ll help you better understand the tools and processes available to set your people up for success. No strings attached.

Photo by Tim Gouw