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Performance Reviews - a necessary evil?
We look at the potential benefits of the process and how to minimise the pain

February 2010
Mary Hanson

It is often at this time of year that the dreaded performance review is due to take place.  Human nature often dictates that we don’t like to be measured plus there can be fear of conflict and taking up precious time.  This combined with an onerous weight of a form trail weighs heavy upon our shoulders.  We look at the potential benefits of the process and how to minimise the pain.

Why have performance reviews? 
Performance Management is one of the main tools that can be used to manage performance.     The Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu once said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”.  When done well, the review should facilitate a quality discussion reviewing the individual’s past performance, setting goals for the year ahead, and form the basis for making development and improvement plans.  In today’s economic environment, ensuring everyone is performing at their highest level becomes even more imperative.

The CIPD’s 2004 performance management survey found that 65 % of organisations used individual annual reviews, 27% used twice-yearly appraisals and 10 % used rolling appraisals.   Many companies use the performance rating from performance reviews to feed into the salary review/bonus/benefits distribution decision making process.  With the recent headlines over City Performance related pay, plus the number of organisations implementing the review process, surely they must provide some benefits?

Where it is done positively, the review process can have a number of benefits and beneficiaries as outlined below.  The overriding advantage is that the individual and business performance should improve as quality feedback improves performance - that benefits everyone.

Potential Benefits and Beneficiaries:
What’s in it for the employee?
What’s in it for the manager? 
What’s in it for the organisation?

  • They know what is expected of them - better understanding of performance requirements and hw their role/performance interrelates to the business objectives and performance Improved employee performance & department performance - Guide individual and team effort to meet overall business needs and recognise individual contributions Up to date data on organisational performance.
  • They know what they have to  achieve their objectives Problem resolution People Planning data.
  • They can discuss with their manager their present job,  problems, issues,  their learning & development needs and their aspirations Plan individual careers including talent identification  and  retention Improved communication - Integrated individual, team and company objectives
  • Introduce relevant & effective training development programmes to meet identified needs Improved motivation and organisational performance

For a free checklist on how effective performance management click here....

As with all good meetings and discussions, Plan, Do, Review are the key steps:

If you would like further advice on designing, developing and running an effective Performance Management process, please contact

If this is useful to you and your organisation, and you would like more information then Please Contact Us, we would be delighted to hear from you


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Key Focus Areas

 Organisation Design & Development
 Leadership Development, Talent Management & Executive Coaching
 Strategy Development & Deployment
 Strategic Human Resource Management
 Mergers & Acquisitions


Tonic 4 Business introduces employee advice line   more...

NERA (National Employment Rights Authority) publish 2013 Interim Report  - to download a copy  

           - click here


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