Why Performance Reviews Are NOT Going Extinct

Posted by Julie • September 22, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 3 min read

Performance reviews catch a lot of criticism from both employees and management. The process of delivering a performance appraisal often focuses on a list of what each employee did, or didn’t, do, which can become quite confrontational, and even create competition among employees. Meanwhile, the management team feels pressure to gather months of information from files upon files and disucss raises if earned. So, with all of that in the back of our heads, how do we see the bright side of performance reviews?


Because, when done correctly, performance reviews…


Build a Culture of Learning and Development

When management sets aside time for employees to meet with their leadership, something really great happens: conversation. Performance reviews provide an opportunity for one on one attention which usually inspires discussion around an employee’s favorite tasks, what problems they encounter and the ideas they have to make processes better. Your performance review is a great time to ask employees about their future plans, goals and even struggles.


When appraisals only deal with tasks and behavior, it’s easy for employees and management to feel anxious and uncomfortable about the conversation. However, mixing in some discussion around skill development and professional passions helps you gain insight into what will further engage your employee, and leaves the employee feeling more connected to their job.


Encourage Frequent Feedback

Generally, we hear how frequent feedback helps build better performance reviews, and while true on the management side, what about the employee? Think of a well-organized performance review as an exercise to build trust between manager and employee. The sometimes tough conversation shows the employee that even when there are mistakes, management is dedicated to helping them to build a better career.


Usually, the appraisal has a standard script of questions the employee and manager discuss. The resulting discussion, as mentioned above, gathers information about personal and professional goals from the employee and how they apply to the company mission and values. When an employee knows they are heard, they are far more likely to trust their superiors with honest updates and progression.


Help Identify High Potential Employees

Have you ever considered what to look for when trying to pinpoint your organization’s top performers? We previously covered some questions to ask to find high potential employees in the past, and chances are they match up with many of the standard performance management rubrics. As we mentioned in our article, high potential employees are…

  • Equipped with soft skills
  • Have expertise and industry knowledge
  • Demonstrate proven results


When we develop the direction a performance review will take, we always look at how employees meet KPIs (proven results), but appraisals can facilitate so much more. The conversation allows employees to discuss other ideas which can help unveil their expertise or knowledge of the industry, as well as display initiative and ability to lead and communicate. Sometimes these things are easy to see in everyday work or weekly meetings, but everything from departmental structures to the personality of the employee can throw off these assessments. It’s a performance appraisal that allows both the manager and employee to evaluate these traits on a refined and focused scale.


The performance review deserves credit. Today’s workforce is invested in employers that give constant, and consistent, feedback. In fact, 65% of employees want more than they’re currently receiving. Luckily, when performance reviews are done right, communication between employee and employer opens, creating a more transparent and trusting workforce with a greater opportunity of growth.


Want to update your performance review processFollow us on Facebook to receive the latest advice and tips from Trakstar!

Don't Miss Out on More Great HR Articles!

Subscribe to get the latest, greatest HR and Talent Development content straight to your inbox.