5 Alternatives To Annual Performance Reviews


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The modern-day manager believes that there must be alternatives to annual performance reviews because of the apparent gaps in the system. Here are five options that organizations can apply to judge employee performance instead of the conventional performance review methods.

One-On-One Weekly/Monthly Meetings

The one-on-one meeting can be one of the best alternatives to annual performance reviews. The manager and his team can have one-on-one meetings weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to get real-time and practical feedback on projects. They can identify the positives and negatives and tackle the problem areas. The managers and the employees can address the challenges as they come up, allowing for quick course correction.

Project-Based Reviews

Project-based reviews are gaining popularity in many organizations and are a more practical annual performance review alternative. This type of review focuses on the last project an employee has completed. It is a fair way of assessing performance, as the review is directly relevant to the work put in by an employee. In addition, it allows the leadership to evaluate the employee and the team against the project goals.

Project-based reviews may happen more frequently. It creates the opportunity to reward good performance or detect weak areas and improve them as needed. This is an excellent alternative for replacing performance reviews that happen once a year on an arbitrary annual schedule.

A drawback of project-based reviews is that both the manager and employee may have to spend more time reviewing projects, especially if they come up many times in a year. The feedback and evaluation may be inconsistent, as not all employees and teams do the same number and type of projects every year.

Ongoing Feedback

Regular feedback can be one of the more practical annual performance review alternatives. Constant input at regular intervals throughout the year will help employees know their strengths and weaknesses at any point. It can create a more productive and conducive work environment.

This approach can also allow managers to detect areas where an employee needs to focus more. It gives them the chance to hone their skills in those problem areas. Employees can address performance challenges right through the year and take corrective steps before the problem gets entrenched deeper and becomes a habit.

Moving from annual performance reviews to set up an ongoing feedback system may take time and effort. You may have to bring the managers on board and convince them that this is a more practical way of replacing performance reviews.

360-Degree Feedback

The 360-degree feedback is an employee review format that allows employers to collect employee feedback from various resources, including managers, supervisors, subordinates, and peers. They can also solicit feedback from those who interact with the employees professionally, such as clients, suppliers, and colleagues.

With information coming in from multiple and independent sources, this method of a performance review is considered more reliable. It can help provide a more comprehensive picture of employee performance and nearly eliminate any chance of bias influencing the review process.

Quarterly Reviews

Also known as quarterly check-ins, this type of performance review happens four times a year instead of one. The frequency of the performance review can result in employees getting more opportunities to course correct actions and improve overall performance on an ongoing basis. It also results in less stress for the employees than the traditional annual performance reviews.

As one of the logical annual performance review alternatives, quarterly reviews create an opportunity for ongoing dialogue. This helps better engage with employees, making them more efficient and productive.

The annual performance review is an entrenched practice in nearly all organizations. However, senior management officials realize they can do better by incorporating alternatives to performance reviews. While it may not be easy to halt the tradition that has been around for decades, an alternative approach to performance reviews can help improve business functionality across the board.

Pawan Kumar
Hi, I'm Pawan. I'm an Inbound Marketer and Content Creator at Springworks. An Introvert storyteller who loves reading. I’ve been featured on Jeff Bullas, MarketingProfs, Entrepreneur, SEMrush, Social Media Today, and Many More. Don't hesitate to connect with me on social media.


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