Continuing the reflections from last week, following my guest lecture on Dr Jelena Petrovic‘s excellent HRM Masters at Kingston University, here are some points that emerged from our discussion on the value or otherwise of an annual performance review. 

Its detractors argue that it wastes management time and yields little. Our collective experience disagreed with this. Many of us were able to give evidence that both management and employees find it a useful process. A critical review of the literature suggests annual reviews should be replaced by regular reviews.


Our evidence shows that both are required. Getting up in your helicopter to survey how far you’ve come over the past year and where you are heading into the future helps take stock of progress and reflect on the longer-term. ‘In the moment’ conversations have a totally different role.


Certainly, my experience shows people value the annual process for this reason and find it motivational. This alone must make it worthwhile. Moreover, in these days where few managers have direct line of sight over their employees’ work, an annual review is a prime opportunity to fully understand the aspirations of their people better and reflect on their overall contribution. 

In short, ditching the annual review creates a big hole. 



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Janice Caplan

27 February 2019

©Copyright Janice Caplan 2019