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Performance Reviews Still Valuable

July 15, 2010 - A recent survey of human resource managers found that performance reviews are still considered a valuable element in staff assessment. Conducted on behalf of OfficeTeam, a leading Canadian staffing service specialising in temporary placement of office and administrative support personnel, the survey was based on telephone interviews with more than 150 managers in organizations with at least 20 employees.

Over three-quarters of respondents (78 per cent) felt that formal evaluations are effective in improving job performance. Half said they conduct appraisals once a year; one in five (20 per cent) hold them at least quarterly.

Asked to rate their organization's performance appraisal process in improving employee performance over one-quarter of respondents (27 per cent) felt it was very effective and 51 per cent that it was somewhat effective. The responses of a further 15 per cent were less positive.

Respondents were asked about the frequency of formal performance appraisals. The majority conducted them annually (50 per cent) with 22 per cent conducted 'as necessary', 15 per cent twice a year, 5 per cent quarterly and 9 per cent 'never'.

The report suggests five ways in which employees can achieve the best outcome from performance appraisals:

  • Sort out the details. Preparation is important. Ask your supervisor for a copy of the assessment form and clarify any additional expectations (such as bringing information about specific projects to the meeting or completing a self-evaluation).
  • Showcase your accomplishments. Highlight any praise or awards received since your last formal review. Keep an ongoing list of achievements to remind you and your supervisor of how the company has benefited from your work.
  • Make it a two-way conversation. Your manager will identify areas where you are excelling and where improvement is needed. In turn, ask questions about the assessment and request support or guidance.
  • Share your ideas. Discuss what you hope to achieve in the future and ensure these goals are compatible with your long-term professional objectives.
  • Follow through. Regularly review agreed goals and keep your supervisor informed about your progress.

Robert Hosking, executive director, commented:

"Despite their bad rap, performance reviews benefit both managers and employees, provided adequate preparation goes into them. It's understood that supervisors must take the time to provide constructive feedback to team members, but workers also should play an active role in the process. This is their chance to highlight key accomplishments and discuss career aspirations."


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