Today’s employees have different preferences on how they want to receive performance feedback.

In some cases, the traditional annual performance evaluation is giving way to an approach that emphasizes managers and supervisors providing employees ongoing feedback throughout the year.

“It is the contemporary way of doing things,” says Tonja Sowder, vice president of human resources at Syndeo.

A more formal performance review still has its place, she says, but managers increasingly are seeing the benefits of providing continual feedback.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Providing feedback more regularly improves communication and employee engagement.
  • Potential problems are addressed sooner.
  • The time to address performance issues and get them corrected is lessened.

Providing continual feedback also can aid employee retention, a significant challenge facing businesses large and small.

Critics say annual reviews are time consuming, too subjective, too infrequent, often fail to improve employee performance and tend to not provide quality feedback.

Infrequency of performance reviews is one obstacle companies face in developing and nurturing motivated employees.

A Gallup poll shows 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. Worse yet, many companies aren’t aware of the problem.

Outdated performance management processes are often cited as a reason why employees aren’t fully engaged in the workplace.

But moving to a continuous feedback model isn’t a matter of flipping a switch.

Implementing that kind of change represents a paradigm shift for many organizations and how they handle performance evaluations. Differences across departments and those in leadership roles also play a role in how easily a company could move from conducting annual reviews to providing feedback on a more regular basis.

Some organizations may opt to invest in new performance management software, which will require additional training. Existing programs also may need to be expanded.

Regardless of approach, here are 10 tips for making employee reviews as impactful as possible.

About us: As the Heartland’s leading employer services company, Syndeo partners with local business owners to help them minimize risk, improve efficiency and maximize profitability allowing them the freedom to focus on growth and fulfilling their mission. Syndeo fulfills its mission by taking on all of the HR responsibilities for our clients’ workforce, including employee relations, benefits, risk management and payroll.


~Josh Heck, Marketing Manager, Syndeo