Are the formal annual performance reviews that employers impose on their workers counterproductive or demoralizing?

  • Doesn't serve the stated purpose

    At best an annual review is a time consuming and unproductive formality, with both sides already knowing the result. Generally however, it's a chance for managers to complain and criticize employees, often for results outside of the employee's control. In addition all too often it is used and an excuse for not giving someone a raise, and for playing favorites in who gets a raise. The metrics are so soft that any behavior on the part of any employee can be interpreted as positive or negative, depending on the manager's view of said employee. Give continuous feedback, receive continuous feedback, and don't bother wasting everyone's time with annual reviews.

  • If you want to improve employee performance, annual Reviews is not the way to go.

    Annual performance reviews set up confrontational situations between manager and employee undermining trust. They are based on opinion and often subjective supporting information. It is the opinion of the manager and the employee is expected to fix and improve based on what the manager says. They are only done once or twice a year, and most managers are not equipped to do them well. Having reviews linked to financial rewards results in employees focusing narrowly on their goals. Whilst this sounds good, they looses sense of "why" they are doing their job. The number of customer served may become more important than serving them well, so they can maximise their bonus. Not great if the philosophy of the company is customer service.

    If real improvement is to be gained:
    1. Work needs to be viewed on a systemic level, made up of processes. Optimising processes is far more efficient than only focusing on individuals. No sport team manager only focuses on the players, they build tactics, plays and teams as a whole.
    2. Work with individuals and coach them. Telling them once a year about there problems and expecting them to fix them is not enough, it does not support them. Employees usually understand themselves better than the manager, what they need is assistance with training, new tools, etc, not opinions.

  • Any review held is often done with bias, and are always subjective, which means the opportunity for demoralization is always present.

    Reviews are done subjectively and are not necessarily based on performance. For example, if the reviewed played golf with the reviewer on regular basis, then they are more likely to receive a better review, than an employee that hated golf, regardless of actual professional ability. Thus, creating a non-professional bias. Similarly, if a reviewer simply doesn't like an individual, they can give them bad reviews, regardless of actual performance.

    Posted by: ConcernedLevi
  • I agree that annual performance reviews are counterproductive.

    I have been an operations manager for over 5 years and oversee several employees. As a manager I have to give constant feedback to my employees, annual evaluations simply are not enough. The trap most managers get caught in is when an employee underperformed and hears about it in December but it's too late to change their behavior for the previous year. If constant feedback is given then employees can have a real chance to change.

    Posted by: R0bCIe
  • I believe that annual performance reviews are important.

    I think that these are important because it shows workers how they can improve themselves even if they are just listening. However I believe that in order to really reach out to your workers and a company owner is to be more active. I think a lot of annual reports are to dry and boring.

    Posted by: R0ckRichm
  • Formal annual performance reviews are not demoralizing because they reward hard workers and provide incentive to others to work harder.

    Even in elementary school, students who performed well received stickers on their papers, and the ones who did not receive stickers often worked harder so they would receive stickers. The desire for recognition and rewards for good work is a motivating factor for children in school, as well as adults in the workforce. While a poor performance review may feel demoralizing, the review is based on the workers own performance and the worker should own up to his or her own behaviors that generated this review. Additionally, these reviews also result in raises. Since formal annual performance reviews provide recognition and rewards to good employees, they are neither counterproductive nor demoralizing, but motivating.

    Posted by: MaxweEIite
  • The performance review of an employee can be a great asset to his or her work experience.

    The employee has nothing to dread when it comes to their review. Since he has been with the company long enough to even get a review, it should be approached with good expectations in mind.

    The review gives the employee a chance to get to know their manager better. Everyday work allows a manager to see only one side of the employee. When the manager and employee go to a private room and close the door, it makes for a better experience for all.

    Posted by: ErvAsta
  • Performance reviews are for the most part demoralizing to an employee's ego.

    Formal annual performance reviews that employers impose on their workers are counterproductive and demoralizing due to the fact that the employee feels hurt and ashamed after it. This makes the employee angry and unwilling to work harder. Most likely companies that do this will experience high turnover ratios and low productivity.

    Posted by: P03tCori
  • If done correctly, performance reviews can be very positive, because they can be very encouraging.

    Formal annual performance reviews, if done correctly, can be a very positive experience. They can tell an employee where they need improvement, and allow them to make the move themselves to improve their performance. If presented correctly and in an encouraging manner, the performance review is just about the best way to maximize an employee's potential. It is when the performance review is treated as a negative, or used to punish the employee, that it becomes counterproductive and demoralizing.

    Posted by: KnownEvan
  • This provides an opportunity for the manager and the employee to talk about current and future performance, discuss pay and any other issues that are important to the employee.

    The employee should be given appreciation during this annual performance review, and it should be presented in a positive light. In that case, with attention given to where the employee is at this current time and where he or she would like to be, then it is a productive opportunity for each to discuss the employee's position. It needs to be done correctly, and used in a positive manner.

    Posted by: DisillusionedGilberto67
  • I do not think that formal annual performance reviews are counterproductive or demoralizing, because they are an important way of identifying good employees.

    If workers are focused and productive, then they have nothing to fear from formal performance reviews. I think that these reviews are an important way for businesses to identify which sections of their workforce are earning their pay, or maybe even deserve better pay, and which members of the workforce are coasting along and costing their company money.

    Posted by: ToughEfrain26
  • Performance reviews are only demoralizing if the employer is that kind of person, and they can actually be a good thing.

    Annual performance reviews can actually be a good thing. It can give an employer the opportunity to thank an employee for a year of hard work, and to give pointers on ways to improve even more. It can be a chance to show off the previous year's strengths. Some employers may conduct these reviews poorly. They may take the time to belittle an employee. This is the fault of the employer, not the fault of the reviewing process.

    Posted by: DizzyCasey
  • They would only be demoralizing to under-performing workers, who need to be more motivated.

    Of course a worker would not be happy if he received a poor performance report, but hopefully it would motivate him to change his ways and become more productive. Every human being is judged by his or her performance, whether it is a formal annual evaluation or not. Those who work hard and do their best have nothing to fear.

    Posted by: NettN355
  • I believe that your employer should hold you accountable.

    When you accept the job you know what is expected of you, so there is no reason that annual performance reviews should be counterproductive. It is a great way to hold the employees to what they agreed upon when they accepted the job. It is just a way to remind the employees how much work they have to do, and how much they are getting done.

    Posted by: SpoiledOde
  • I believe annual performance reviews are good for the employees, because they let the employee know how well they have done their job.

    Being told how well or bad my performance has been in the last six months or year would help me do a better job. The review can increase your pay and motivation. I don't feel annual reviews are demoralizing, because they are needed. If I was an employer, I would most certainly perform annual reviews for my employees.

    Posted by: poochie
  • I disagree that annual performance reviews are demoralizing because, if nothing else, it keeps people on their toes.

    Companies need to know how their employees are doing, and they need to have a program in place to ensure that they understand the importance of working optimally. Employees, knowing they have a review at the end of the year, are more likely to stay motivated, because their position and continued employment depend on it.

    Posted by: N3vinFace
  • Formal annual performance reviews are necessary to keep workers motivated.

    Formal annual performance reviews are not counterproductive and demoralizing. It is important for workers to have clear goals and guidelines. Reviews allow a supervisor to show how the worker has done towards reaching their goals and completing the expected tasks of their particular position. Without this review, it may not be clear how the worker is doing.

    Posted by: EImerN4th
  • I do not believe that an annual performance review is counterproductive; depending how it is done.

    I believe that a properly done performance review is essential to a smoothly running business. Sometimes it isn't possible to tell someone when they do well or when they do not. Sometimes there isn't the time to sit down and talk. I believe that with correct execution, it is a perfect opportunity for dialogue between employer and employee - something both need so as to understand the expectations of them and difficulties they did not foresee. It is also a perfect time to tell employees that they have done well and thank them, for those who do not realise they are appreciated.

    Posted by: DuaneAir

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