Are appraisals still necessary in the modern workplace?

Are appraisals still necessary in the modern workplace?

  • Tuesday 04 December 2018

“45% of HR leaders do not think annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal for employee’s work.” Southwestern Illinois College.

Whether you are an annual appraisal partisan or not a big fan of it, you would agree that performance review, no matter how it is delivered, is essential.

A vast majority of appraisals are not properly conducted, the people involved (on both sides) are not convinced that anything will change by being part of the process, that is why appraisals are strongly discussed in the modern workplace.

On top of that “44% of employees don’t think their boss is honest during the process” (OfficeVibe) which makes the process even less significant.

Appraisals can be very painful to implement and to organise between all parties concerned. They have proven themselves to be anxiety-inducing and they often demoralise employees. But not only do employees dislike appraisals, “second only to firing an employee, managers rate performance appraisals as the task they dislike most” (Financial Post).

Why a system in place for years, seems now so old-fashioned? They are too formal. A more regular conversation would have a greater impact on employees and they would feel they are valued.

Below are a couple of reasons why performance reviews should be more regular and less formal:

  1. Appraisals are limited

Important feedback needs to be provided on a regular basis and not only once a year. Employees do not care about how they did perform 6 months ago, they want and need to have feedback on what they are doing right now. How can an employee or a manager remember for one hour the work done for a year anyway? “To be effective and yield results for your business, performance management must be a year-round process with no end” (Teala Wilson, Talent Management Consultant).

  1. Telling people what they’ve done wrong for a year is difficult

During appraisals, there is no escape. People end up being face to face waiting for someone to tell them what they think of them and what they have done wrong for the past year. This can be very embarrassing.

  1. Losing track of goals

How could you keep track or even remember a goal that has been agreed a year ago? These are often forgotten or become meaningless. As the business evolves, so should goals. People also change, improve and learn while goals remain the same for a year. To remain relevant and useful, goals always need to be reviewed and up-to-date. 

  1. Missed opportunities to communicate

Appraisals being too formal or at least seen as being the ONE opportunity to tell what you think of an employee’s work or how the employee feels within the business, it often leads to unsaid things to make sure everything goes alright during the discussion and that they would be no consequences. Annual performance reviews fail to reflect how employees really feel about their work and own performance.

  1. Why a need for annual reviews in the first place?

People don’t understand the point of conducting annual reviews. The Institute for Employment Studies says companies often under-communicate the aims of performance reviews and instead focus on the administrative procedure. That’s what’s causing the issue. Employees as well as managers don’t get why they should sit once a year and talk about performance when they could have done so when there is need for it.


My point here, is not to discredit annual performance reviews but why not do monthly catch ups, reviews, talks or whatever you wish to call them? The goal is simply to have a regular contact with your staff and build the relationship on an ongoing basis.

Allow an open and two-way communication in your business. A one-off meeting will never be enough to keep track of your employees performance as well as their engagement level.

Don't just take our word for it - here's what our users are saying

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Aaron Mansworth - Group GM -Trigon Hotels

Aaron Mansworth

Group GM -Trigon Hotels

Sarah Caufield - Group Sales and Marketing – Talbot Collection

Sarah Caufield

Group Sales and Marketing – Talbot Collection

Sabrina Egerton - Marketing Manager - Fire Restaurant

Sabrina Egerton

Marketing Manager - Fire Restaurant

Charlie Dineen - Director of Human Resources - Fota Collection

Charlie Dineen

Director of Human Resources - Fota Collection

Sarah Marr - Group Human Resource Manager at PREM Group

Sarah Marr

Group Human Resource Manager at PREM Group

Betty Nerney - Proprietor - Tailored Solutions Training and Development

Betty Nerney

Proprietor - Tailored Solutions Training and Development

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