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7 Best Practices for Redesigning Your Performance Reviews

From employee engagement to turnover rates, to simply creating a company culture which your employees feel is open and communicative, having an effective performance management system in place can make all the difference.

However, a study by Adobe found that 59% of office workers feel performance reviews have no impact on how they do their job. For something which takes up a lot of time and energy, it’s simply not seen by many as something worth doing.

There is clearly a major disconnect in what HR wants to achieve with performance reviews and the impact they have in reality. It doesn't have to be this way...

So far we've helped over 150 companies reinvent their performance review processes. Based on these experiences we've come up with a check list of 7 best practices:

1. Keep it simple

If you've read our post, 10 Scary Stats You Need to Know About Performance Reviews , you'll know one of the biggest complaints from managers, employees and even HR is that they simply take wayyy too much time.

Trying to introduce overly complicated changes is not going to encourage people to engage with the process. Instead, using mobile technology such as Impraise can keep things simple by allowing people to give and review feedback at their own pace, integrating seamlessly with people’s workflow and removing unnecessarily complicated or distracting processes.

The information shared is generated automatically into individual and team reports meaning that HR doesn't have to spend time collecting and distributing the results.

2. Have a purpose

Decide what you want your performance management process to achieve. Do you want to focus on helping managers improve their leadership practices? Guiding employees towards continuous professional development? Or simply ditch your annual performance review in favour of something more useful and engaging for everyone? Whatever your reasons for redesigning your process, bring your people into the conversation by asking them what they want out of performance management. This is the best way to create a process which is truly effective.

3. Ditch top-down only feedback

Gone are the days when performance management was limited strictly to top-down led reviews. 360-degree feedback is a key part in re-designing the review process. It allows your people to gain a complete picture of how they're performing and what they can do to improve. Who better to get feedback from than the teammates you work with on a daily basis?

4. Introduce upward feedback

360-feedback isn’t just about peers exchanging feedback. It also gives managers the opportunity to gain insights into their leadership skills directly from their team. One of the most important parts of being a great coach is listening to and understanding the needs of your people. Introducing upward feedback also creates a more open company culture in which people feel their voice and opinions matter.

Related: Using Design Thinking To Create A People First Performance Management Process

5. Follow-up is key

One of the biggest performance review pitfalls is failing to follow-up after the results are in. Now that employees have received the information they need to improve, how can you be sure they're taking full advantage of it? Follow-up 1-on-1s should be an integral and required part of the performance review process. During these 1-on-1s managers should take the time to discuss the results individually with each team member, help them to analyze the information and clarify expectations.

6. Set performance goals

Performance reviews should be about more than past performance. It's also important to focus on future achievements. One of the most important steps during the follow up is setting effective performance goals based on the feedback received. When done well, goal-setting keeps employees on track, motivated, and aligned with company-wide aims.

Impraise's goal-setting feature guides individuals in formulating SMART goals , helps them break their goals down into smaller milestones and enables them to track their progress.

7. Use real-time feedback to keep developing

Rather than saving growth for review time only, real-time feedback helps you to reinforce the importance of learning and development throughout the year. In this way people will always know where they stand and what they can do to improve. This ensures your people won't feel blindsided during the next review period.


So, now you’re ready to revamp your performance management process. From more efficient, engaging reviews, to introducing peer and upward feedback, to goal-setting the benefits are endless. Find out how Impraise can help you create a successful performance review process.