Performance Reviews Should Be Shorter And More Than Once A Year

The performance review is getting a makeover, suggests new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. More than half of companies (51 percent) have updated their performance appraisals in the past two years. Top changes include making the process shorter (39 percent) and increasing the frequency of feedback (36 percent).

How often are organizations holding reviews? More than three in four HR managers (78 percent) said their company conducts formal staff appraisals at least once a year. Thirty-eight percent have these meetings twice a year or quarterly, an 11-point jump from a similar survey in 2015.

View an infographic about performance reviews.

HR managers were asked, “When was the last time your company updated its performance appraisal process?” Their responses:

Within the past year29%
1-2 years ago22%
3-4 years ago24%
5 years ago or more6%
We don’t have a performance appraisal process11%

HR managers whose company has updated its process were also asked, “How has your company changed its performance appraisal process?” Their responses:*

Made the process shorter39%
Increased frequency of feedback36%
Added rating scales27%
Added peer/360-degree feedback25%
Separated it from compensation discussions20%
*Multiple responses were permitted. Top responses are shown.

Additional findings:

  • A majority of HR managers (86 percent) feel their organization’s review process is effective in improving employee performance.
  • Respondents said the greatest benefit of conducting appraisals is motivating staff by focusing on achievements and goals (36 percent). This is followed by determining what changes and resources are required and being able to make decisions about merit increases or bonuses (19 percent each).

“Not everyone revels in performance reviews, but fine-tuning the process and frequency of these discussions can help managers and employees get the most out of them,” said Stephanie Naznitsky, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Many companies have streamlined how feedback is given and encourage supervisors to check in with staff more often. This allows organizations to be nimble in addressing issues, evaluating progress and recognizing good work.”

Additional advice for managers and workers to prepare for performance reviews can be found on the Robert Half blog. 

About the Research 
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

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