Business planning

How do you handle performance reviews of your employees? Do you think there is room for improvement?

Lexi Sprague Driven to improve parking.

December 14th, 2015

I am working on a startup that can help manage and motivate a workforce. I am looking for feedback about the current performance review process. 

Lilly Wachira Managing Partner at I Manage Limited

December 14th, 2015

I believe employee performance is a dynamic matter. There is always room for improvement if any business is to experience any growth. Among other things, this is one of the services I offer in my I know it is a viable business idea. About the current performance review processes out there, I personally work with the what the client has and if they have none in place, I develop one from scratch based on research and their requirements. What you need to adhere to( that most corporates are keen on) is ensuring the developed process is within the 'Best Practice' code. I hope this has helped you. 

Mona Sabet

December 14th, 2015

Most companies now agree that the current performance review process is broken.  It's broken because reviews are offered too far about often by someone who hasn't been the person you have worked with most during the review period. Therefore it's a bad replacement for professional development.  Second the rating process is haphazard at best making traditional review processes a poor method for identifying top and bottom performers.

Is there a specific aspect of performance reviews you are working on?

Lilly Wachira Managing Partner at I Manage Limited

December 14th, 2015

I agree with you Mona on both aspects. The companies that have realized this though will hire an outsider to help streamline the process then have the inhouse managers implement it. What is undisputed is that to develop a sound and practical process, you have to involve the employees of an organization who will rarely tell it as it is to an inhouse practitioner. Getting a third party to audit and develop a practical performance review process has been seen to help more organizations than not. 

I would love to pick your brain abit more though, can I contact you off this thread?

Daniel-Flavius Lucica Innovative Technology Leader

December 15th, 2015

Annual performance reviews are obsolete and I don't think they were ever a good idea. Plus they only underly the root cause of their existence:  lack of trust, which in turn is caused by not hiring
the right people, which is turn is caused by hiring for the right position and not for the right person.

Because of the underlying reasons presented above, neither party is comfortable with it and it only emphasises on the obvious underlying lack of trust. If the review is good employees would expect more money. If that doesn't happen they would feel disappointed. If the review is bad, employees would feel disappointed anyway. And because of the time gap between the analised performance and the review, which can be a few months, the facts tent to be distorted anyway, causing for more confusion and in some cases even conflict.

In summary the annual performance review is a very costly attrition generating tool.

Instead companies should focus more on creating the right culture, living and promoting the right culture, hire the right people that are compatible with their right culture and support their continuous growth. If all this was done right and documented accordingly, it will make for a much more meaningful and real-time performance and growth report.

Jeff Fitzmyers Project Manager at Energy Remodeling Inc.

December 16th, 2015

I would not interrupt people that are doing good work. And I would try to catch problems way before a monthly or quarterly review. A realtime ROI would be helpful to identify those 2 cases. It must be ranked, and within a context, because different roles will have different ROI’s. I’m really surprised this is not already done.

David Siegel

December 26th, 2015

If you're doing performance reviews, you need help. It's a good thing you asked. Read "Joy, Inc.," by Richard Sheridan. 


December 27th, 2015

There's a great couple of chapters about performance reviews, perks, and employee engagement in "Work Rules!" by Lazlo Bock. Useful checklists for both managers and employees included.

Mohan Goyal BIG Data Architect

December 28th, 2015

The current performance review system is broken. I have never seen bell curve working. It has a reverse effect. In large organization, HR pushes to fit all the employees in bell curve, which demotivates many employees. Success Factor is used by many companies, where employees set their goals in the beginning of the year, but goals are never static (fixed) for an organization hence employee evaluation on the basis of these goals are flawed. Most of the time YER ratings only reflect the previous month achievements. Managers often forget the best deliveries during earlier part of the year and only remember previous quarter deliverables. 


I personally think, leaders (not managers) can motivate employees. Leaders always mentor, coach and inspire employees. They never consider the failure as negative if an employee learns from it.


Personally, Weekly/bi-weekly 1:1 worked best for me where we discuss what is going well, what can be done better. I listen to their concerns, provide an approach to resolve them, challenge them, provide them stretched assignments and have a balanced friendly relation with them. Leader has to develop the mutual trust with his employees to win the loyalty. No evaluation/feedback system can achieve this. 


One should always keep a log for every employee 1:1 meetings. This tail can help connecting the dots and bridge the gap. If an employee is not performing well, we should consider providing candid feedback and provide some tips - how to improve on specific issues, send him for training. If he doesn't improve after all these efforts, then one should involve HR for decisions. 

Trudi Schifter Founder and CEO at AquaSPE AG

December 29th, 2015

As busy as start ups are as in most things, the value is in the process. With no process, time goes by quickly and regardless of how good communications are they are not abut personal and business development. This is a deliberate process that I believe has proven value. We have 360degree 3 month (for new employees) and annual/minimu 2 year reviews that prompt two way discussion with the aim to improve the company, and each individuals performance.