Do you dislike the performance review?

performance reviewWhy do so many employers dread the yearly performance review? As an employer, I also disliked the annual review, but probably for a very different reason than most. I always believed that evaluating an employee’s performance yearly was a disservice to the employee. Do I really have nothing to say to an employee the other 51 weeks of the year? And how does an employee feel getting no feedback except once a year? So I believe employees should be getting feedback on a regular basis.

In my companies, I replaced annual reviews with regular evaluations. I conducted weekly reviews with my direct reports and bi-weekly ones with other managers and key employees. That frequency changed the review process from a dreaded event into a regular dialog.

During my standing meetings with my direct reports, I routinely asked two questions – “How are you doing as an employee?” and “How am I doing as a boss?”  When I started this practice I admit that it felt unnatural and was uncomfortable at times. There were lots of long pauses while we looked anywhere but at each other. However, after a while it became easy and natural. The feedback we got during these meetings was invaluable for both of us. My employees knew where they stood all the time, and not just once a year.

Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest


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