How to Ditch Traditional Performance Reviews

Picture of Patrice Barber

Patrice Barber

CEO of Career CNX & National Professional Speaker

Do you have time to do that annual Performance Review? According to IntelliHR, “Managers can spend, on average, 17 hours preparing each employee’s review.”

Are your employees performing better because of your performance review processes?

Performance reviews are challenging for all companies and employees. In fact, many companies have stopped doing performance reviews at all: General Electric, Accenture, Adobe and Microsoft. They’ve replaced the annual review with frequent feedback meetings with employees.

Regardless of how you handle performance in your organization, keep these few tips in mind.

The Employee’s Perspective

In my experience, most employees show up for work and want to do a good job. They also have tasks they enjoy and other tasks they really don’t like to do.

Which tasks are you assigning them?

The role of the leader is to discover the employee’s strengths and ensure that the employee’s role is using those strengths and desires to benefit the company.

If the employee’s role has evolved into tasks the employee dislikes or isn’t interested in doing, employee engagement is going to plummet and performance issues may start to arise.

As a leader, it’s your role to work with employees to get their best. We all have some tasks we don’t like to do – but do anyway. Check-in with your employees and make sure you’re assigning them to work that they like to do and avoiding those tasks that they dislike.

Engaging Employees

Once you’re aware of the work your employee is good at and likes to do, it’s time to set goals and objectives.

A Gallup survey noticed that 30% of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in goal setting. Employees whose managers involve them in goal setting are 3.6 times more likely than other employees to be engaged.

What about the other 70% of employees? Are managers creating goals and objectives for that employee in a vacuum? Not creating any goals at all?

Engaging employees is even more important in the era of the Great Resignation. The costs of replacing good employees is too high and time-consuming.

Work with employees to create goals and performance metrics that are within their control. In that same Gallup survey, only 21% of employees strongly agree they have performance metrics that are within their control.

Technology can help here. Use a tool that employees can access quickly and easily that reminds them of their goals and how to reach them. The Career CNX app is designed specifically for this purpose.

Helping Your Employees Grow

Even when employees are doing work they enjoy, most are also interested in growing in their jobs and profession. Companies that actively work with employees to update and develop skills keep employees longer.

According to ThinkImpact, 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it offered learning and development opportunities.

And six out of ten employees worldwide believe that training allows them to be more capacitive to accommodate change.

Invest in the training and development of your workforce. TeamStage recounts that according to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), companies that invest in training have a 24% higher profit margin. Apart from the disparity in profit margins, companies eager to invest in training and development also have a 218% higher income per employee.

How can you work with your employee to set goals that include updating or developing new skills that the company can use to increase revenue?

Aligning Employee Work with Company Success

When working with an employee on performance, avoid checkboxes and numeric scales. Employee performance is better measured by the quality of the work actually accomplished and how that work is contributing to the organization’s success.

Ask the question: do you feel your work is contributing to the organization’s success? If you, as a leader, have clearly communicated the company goals, your employee can articulate this easily.

If the employee is unclear about company goals, they most likely are unclear about how their work is contributing. This case gives you the opportunity to guide the employee to where the link between their work and company success is more transparent.

Every employee should have easy access to the company goals at all times.

Reviewing Performance Through Ongoing Evaluation

If employees are working on tasks that reflect their strengths and desires, chances are their monitoring their performance is easy. When those employees are given opportunities to develop their skills and add to them, employee engagement goes up, and quit rates decline.

The company wins when they are the beneficiary of a highly engaged and motivated workforce. And when that workforce understands how everyone fits into the company goals, profit margins can rise.

If your company needs to help its leaders streamline their interactions with employees and give employees an easy way to set goals and stay in touch, let’s talk.


Learn more about how to improve performance management and employee engagement through the Career CNX app.
Click here to talk to a Career Strategist.

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