The performance review is getting a makeover, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

More than half (51%) of companies surveyed have updated their performance appraisals in the past two years. Top changes include making the process shorter (39%) and increasing the frequency of feedback (36%).

How often are organizations holding reviews?

More than three in four HR managers (78%) said their company conducts formal staff appraisals at least once a year. Thirty-eight percent have these meetings twice a year or quarterly, an 11-point jump from a 2015 survey.

Response Breakdown

In the 2018 survey, HR managers were asked, "When was the last time your company updated its performance appraisal process?" Their responses:

  • Within the past year—29%
  • 1–2 years ago—22%
  • 3–4 years ago—24%
  • 5 years ago or more—6%
  • Never—8%
  • We don't have a performance appraisal process—11%

HR managers whose company has updated its process were also asked, "How has your company changed its performance appraisal process?" Their responses:*

  • Made the process shorter—39%
  • Increased frequency of feedback—36%
  • Added rating scales—27%
  • Added peer/360-degree feedback—25%
  • Separated it from compensation discussions—20%

*Multiple responses were permitted; top responses are shown.

Additional Findings

According to the survey, a large majority of HR managers (86%) feel their organization's review process is effective in improving employee performance.

Respondents said the greatest benefit of conducting appraisals is motivating staff by focusing on achievements and goals (36%), determining what changes and resources are required (19%), and being able to make decisions about merit increases or bonuses (19%).

"Not everyone revels in performance reviews but fine-tuning the process and frequency of these discussions can help managers and employees get the most out of them," said Office Team Executive Director Stephanie Naznitsky in a statement.

"Many companies have streamlined how feedback is given and encourage supervisors to check in with staff more often. This allows organizations to be nimble in addressing issues, evaluating progress, and recognizing good work."

About the Research: The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

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