Performance Reviews Must Die

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, April 2, 2018
Performance Reviews Must Die

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Employees hate them. Supervisors dread them.

Annual performance reviews need to die.

The tide is shifting away from the despised tradition, and the move toward other employee performance models has been gaining momentum. This trend is fed by some of the largest companies around, including Adobe, IBM, Deloitte, and even venerable General Electric.

This shift represents a change in paradigm from reactive accountability to proactive coaching and performance improvement. The motivation for each model may not be obvious at first glance, however. Business leaders want metrics and employees want clear objectives and a sense of purpose.

How can operational effectiveness be measured and improved in a way that doesn't cause universal dread amongst the team?

Performance needs to be measured at a pace that allows for short reaction times. Can you imagine steering a cargo ship only looking out the bridge window once a year, turning the wheel, and then waiting another year before you look again? Icebergs abound.

The smart ship captain keeps a frequent watch over the bow and makes small corrections as needed.

This short feedback cycle — or feedforward as we like to call it at eRep — gives employees the information they need to perform at their best. One of the biggest pitfalls of annual performance reviews is the feedback received often only pertains to the previous month's worth of activity. This recency bias often skews the supervisor's rating of the employee's performance. Everyone knows when their performance review is coming up and their behavior in the weeks leading up to the dreaded event reflects it.

Implementing a short review cycle doesn't mean conducting a full blown performance evaluation every Friday. It entails the use of short and topical interactive conversations between a worker and their coach or supervisor, often through efficient, facilitated messaging systems. This conversation feed is focused on a set of one to three personalized objectives that are small, measurable, and clearly defined. This cycle repeats on a fixed cadence, typically weekly or biweekly, depending on the needs of the role.

It is this collection of discrete, measurable objectives that provide team leaders with the performance metrics they need to set group goals. Business leaders use these in aggregate to adjust operational strategy.

Employees thrive under this proactive, performance-centric model.

They want to perform well and getting constructive feedback when it matters most is a powerfully effective way to improve. Having clear, obtainable short-term objectives that are easy to understand and measure provides the other half of their own formula for success.

Performance is measured and improved on an almost constant basis. Without the dread.

This should sound promising, and it is. "Where do I find it?" you may ask.

What I have just described is Performance Fuel by eRep and it is available to be implemented within your organization today.

Contact eRep today to learn more.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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