Performance reviews: Yes or No?

Performance reviews: Yes or No?
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It’s almost that time of year. Managers and their teams are gearing up for a familiar holiday tradition: end-of-year performance appraisals.


Traditionally performance appraisals help to create a corporate culture that promotes personal success, along with collaboration.  Individual employees need the reinforcement of knowing that their contributions are valued by upper management.  The appraisal process offers several benefits organizationally, generating an atmosphere of excellence.  Performance appraisals allow management personnel to establish guidelines for compensation increases; track employee strengths and weaknesses; identify the best candidates for promotion; offer feedback for improvements; and promote training programs.


But now in the last years I read more and more articles about that we should get rid of performance reviews. Many reasons are mentioned. In this blog I have put some pros and cons of performance reviews together to let you decide yourself if you think performance reviews are a good thing to have in your organisation.

Reasons to get rid of performance reviews Reasons to keep performance reviews
1.    Everybody hates giving them and getting them

2.    They’re not objective; managers only remember the last two months of your performance and focus on where they like to focus on.

3.    They prevent employee improvement; employee is not really honest about their development areas because it could impact their next review.

4.    They destroy teamwork; only limited number of staff get top grades. This could work jealousy in hand which will impact the overall performance of the team

5.    They keep employees from offering smart ideas; I need to be careful in giving ideas because if the boss doesn’t like my ideas it could impact the outcome of my review.

6.    They don’t help with lawsuits; because every managers rates a person differently and the rating is not really objective it doesn’t help in a lawsuits from an organisation perspective. Probably it helps an employee more because of the inconsistency of the reviews.   

7.    They distort discussions about pay; is the pay raise really related to the outcome of your review, of course not! Many more factors make that the employee will receive an increase of salary.

8.    “Improvements” to the review only do more damage; A cake made with sour milk won’t taste any better, no matter how beautiful you try to make it.

9.    It destroys the relationship between manager and team member; The manager only focusses on the  weakness, as our appraisals require him to do, which destroys the integrity of his relationship with his subordinates

1.    It establishes compensation guidelines; employee compensation should be directly tied to performance.

2.    It tracks strengths and weaknesses; consistent performance appraisals make that information easily accessible when it is time to hand out new assignments.

3.    It helps identifying promotion candidates; appraisals allow hiring managers to look back over the applicant’s entire work history and find the best internal candidates for a promotion.

4.    It provides employees with the necessary information to improve their on-the-job performance; by giving employees feedback about their performance on a regular basis, managers open up the lines of communication, enabling a good working relationship and encouraging a spirit of collaboration.

5.    It helps in defining steps for development; performance reviews offer an excellent time to discuss additional training and continuing education requirements.

6.    It gives employees clarity where they stand; during the performance review the employee gets a better understanding how they are seen by their manager and the organisation which is important for every employee

7.    The give and take of a formalized performance review system allows employees to feel comfortable during their daily work activities;

8.    The summarized information gathered during reviews also helps streamline many management activities; hiring, firing, compensation determinations and training schedules all become part of the review process, minimizing the necessary oversight for these tasks.

Based on the reason to keep or get rid I am curious to hear from you where you stand.


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