The demise of the annual performance review has been greatly exaggerated

The classic employee evaluation tactic has fallen out of fashion in recent years, but a new survey shows companies can’t quite quit them.

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How does your company evaluate employee performance?

New data shows that plenty of companies are still relying on old-school annual performance reviews. Sixty-three percent of employers still conduct formal performance reviews once a year, according to 344 U.S. companies which participated in XpertHR’s Performance Appraisals Survey 2021. Far fewer organizations conduct their reviews twice a year (18%) or quarterly (8%).

Other frequencies are even rarer. Only 2% perform reviews on an ad hoc basis, and 1% or less evaluate once a month, less often than once a year, once a week, or on a project-by-project basis.

“The results show that while there is talk of the demise of the annual performance review, it is still by far the most common frequency of performance appraisal,” notes Andrew Hellwege, surveys editor of XpertHR.

The survey also asked who provides feedback about the employee during the performance appraisal process, finding that virtually all (99%) of responding organizations noted the employee’s manager provides feedback, while just under one-half (47%) use the employee’s own feedback (such as via self-assessments).

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