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ATD Blog

Why Performance Reviews Aren’t Working

Friday, March 18, 2022

Unfortunately, most employees hate performance reviews. There is a misconception that negative employee sentiment around performance reviews is the result of personality differences or an unwillingness to accept feedback, but research shows that’s not the case.

Let’s examine the current state of performance reviews to learn how you can improve your performance process.

The Current State of Performance Reviews

The current sentiment around performance reviews doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Research shows that performance management is the most despised people process at organizations, with a net promoter score (NPS) of -60. In other words, people across the organization—from executives to HR teams—view this process more negatively than they view cable companies, internet service providers, and health insurance plans.

Ultimately, the perception around performance reviews needs to change. Performance management isn’t inherently bad; it’s how companies are approaching it that needs to be remedied. Without performance management, there would be no standardized system for measuring and assessing employee performance and growth. So if you know your employees dread or fear performance reviews, you may want to start thinking about how you can change the status quo around performance management.


How to Upgrade Your Performance Reviews

It’s not easy to change the norms around a process that has been around for ages, but performance management can be transformed to provide genuine value to leaders, managers, and employees alike. Below, we share a few tips that will not only better the performance review itself, but also the culture around performance management.

  • Create a fair and transparent process. Employees expect performance reviews to be fair and transparent. However, many employees experience a process that feels unfair, muddled, and confusing. Moreover, few organizations take measures to build safeguards around the unconscious biases that lead to inaccurate assessments. As a result, many employees feel like they’re not accurately evaluated, and they leave the meeting without being set up for success or provided with the actionable feedback needed for improvement. One way you can build fairness through transparency is by linking employees’ goals to business priorities. That way, employees and managers can be on the same page for what success looks like, not just during a performance review but throughout the entire process year.
  • Find the right performance management tool. One significant way to change your employees’ perception of performance reviews is to upgrade your technology. Finding the right performance management tool will allow you to have the flexibility that you need. As you search for the right performance tool, some capabilities to consider include the ability to set and manage goals at all levels and integrate with your organization's current tech stack. With the right solution, you can bring your performance data into one centralized place, foster fair and equitable processes, and turn growth and goal-setting into continuous processes that inspire and motivate employees to go above and beyond.

Elevate Your Approach to Performance

Even though performance management has a bad rap amongst employees, it’s a crucial component of your organization and your employees’ success. It’s essential to recognize that you have the power to turn performance reviews into a fair, motivating, and valuable process that boosts performance, engagement, retention, and more.

About the Author

Sophia Lee is a writer for Culture Amp.

1 Comment
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For me, performance reviews can be helpful when used properly. However, a lot of companies don't use it that way that's why there's a misconception and employees hate it. Performance reviews should be constructive to help employees improve productivity. Another thing that should consider when it comes to productivity is the working environment. And one trusted brand I saw is from Soundbox Store which has been installed in a lot of various known companies.
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