Is the Annual Performance Review Dead?

September 16, 2020 Aaron Kinne

In this Workhuman® episode of “Have a Minute?”, Dr. Patti Fletcher, VP of brand marketing, continues her conversation with Rosette Cataldo, VP of performance & talent strategy, as they examine the evolving interplay between the annual review and continuous performance management.

“There’s been so much change over the last few years on the topic of performance management,” says Patti. “The yearly or biannual performance review … sure, it’s still done. But it’s not the only tool in the toolbelt.”

 “It’s not the only tool in the toolbelt,” agrees Rosette. “A few years ago, we saw all these stories: ‘HR is blowing up the annual performance review. It’s gone. It’s dead.’ It’s not dead. But now, throughout the year, we’re pulling in the components of continuous performance management, development, and insights that are perceived by the employee from different voices in the process. We no longer have a process that has one set of eyes and one voice. We have many voices. Many sets of eyes. But there are still a lot of performance reviews and rating reviews going on in the industry every day.” 

“Traditionally, performance management has been a ‘one size fits all’ exercise,” says Patti. “People don’t work in silos. They work with each other. Getting that feedback from all around you – from the stakeholders who represent different levels, different functions. As the receiver of that information – all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel like one size fits all. It feels like it was made for me.”

Rosette points out: “The nature of work is changing. Not just because we are all remote. But because people are working in teams. Project-based work is really becoming the norm of how many organizations are tackling work. And because of that, it begs us to engage with more people – and to deliver our performance in different ways.

“So often, people are saying, ‘I can’t give feedback. I can’t give a performance review because of the pandemic.’ The reality is, we need it more than ever right now, so that people understand – when they’re working by themselves – how they’re doing, and are they on the right path to contribute to the goals of the organization. And to their own individual goals.

“Nobody works alone anymore,” says Rosette. “Nobody. We’re all on teams, and we all have to tap into that team sensibility.” 

(Each week, Dr. Patti Fletcher speaks with a Workhuman colleague on how to unlock the power of connection in the global talent economy.)

About the Author

Aaron Kinne

Aaron Kinne is a senior writer at Workhuman.

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