Why Annual Performance Reviews Are a Waste of Time

Posted on April 5, 2014 in Employee Issues

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I have friends from college where our only communication right now is an annual Christmas missive, detailing all the high points of the year about to end. I’m always delighted to hear their news and to live vicariously through the stories they share. But these are not the people I turn to in a crisis. These are not the people whose lives are intimately intertwined with mine. If our lives can be seen as concentric circles, these friends are not in the innermost circles.

Think of all the relationships you’ve ever had–with romantic partners, children, parents, friends and colleagues. Which ones were most important to you? And of those, how many relationships truly flourished if you communicated only once a year?

When it comes to business, you want to keep your employees close. Perhaps not “inner sanctum” close, but certainly more than “Christmas card” close.

That’s why communication with your employees needs to be an ongoing process. As I mention in my article, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: The Key to Employee Loyalty,” you’ll want to give them regular feedback so that they know where they are on track, and where they need improvement. F. John Reh also notes in his article, “Why Annual Performance Reviews Are a Waste of Time,” that:

the best performance review is the ongoing review. Work with your employees on how they are doing on a task-by-task basis–daily or weekly. Let them know right away what they are doing wrong so they can correct it now, not 12 months from now when it has become an ingrained habit.

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