Work Performance Review

Work Performance Reviews – Do They Really Work?

When we think of the typical Work Performance Review, we usually think of something similar to this clip from The Office (UK – The awkward discussions about our ‘strengths and weaknesses,’ discussing our ‘performance goals’ and experiencing the niggling feeling that “we just wasting our time here”

Are performance reviews just corporate bureaucracy, or do they help keep managers and employees on the right track?


Performance Reviews only work if everyone involved is honest during the process. Firstly, bosses need to be honest with their employees. They need to be able to say what the employee is doing wrong with confidence, but not in a way that is aggressive or is unnecessarily antagonistic.

This is often difficult for many bosses to do. In fact, according to OfficeVibe 44% of employees believe that bosses are not being truthful with them during work appraisals.

The rule of honesty is difficult to maintain during these appraisals for employees as well. This is because in instances where the employee has not performed well, it would be in their best interest to not be honest. Self-disclosure of an employee’s actions can be detrimental to their credibility as a staff member.

This begs the question, ‘Can the integrity of a Work Performance Review be maintained under these conditions?’

In a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, it was found that approximately 90% of employees believe that performance appraisals are painful and don’t work; and they produce an extremely low percentage of top performers.

Achieving Results

Beyond what people may feel about Work Performance Reviews, whether they are used or not should come down to whether they really improve productivity or not. Do they work?
  • According to the Wharton University of Pennsylvania, 97.2% of U.S. companies have performance appraisals, as do 91% of companies worldwide. So it is clear that these reviews are very prevalent.
  • According to a study completed by Gallup, companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback.
This means that we have a situation where the majority of companies employ these kinds of reviews, but they don’t seem to work. So if we really want to achieve results, then what are we supposed to do? The key is to boost employee engagement, as this is what boosts productivity. According to Dale Carnegie, companies with engaged employee outperform other companies by 202%. To find out how to boost employee engagement, check out some of our other blog posts:

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