Annual Reviews – Should You Do Them or Not?

This time of year, you’ll hear a lot of conversations about annual reviews both inside and outside of the office. Often, I’m asked, “Are annual reviews outdated?”, “Should we still do them?” or “What makes a good annual review?”

As the best-selling author and speaker, Jon Gordon states, “If you’re truly leading someone, you should have ongoing conversations about their progress and performance. If expectations and communications are clear, there should be no need for a review.”

Although I do agree with this statement, I believe you should always have ongoing conversations with your team about performance and expectations (yes, this includes having an annual review 😉).

At Service Express, we use our SR5+ performance measurement system to guide feedback sessions that review team performance every single month. By the time an annual review approaches, it should be quick, easy, and straightforward as a follow-up to the monthly conversations taking place throughout the year about performance and expectations.

My message to the leaders here at Service Express is that annual reviews should be the most boring conversation that you have all year. I always believe leaders should take the time to meet with their team members face-to-face to talk over their review – never conduct a review over emails! If there are any surprises for a team member during their annual review, then you haven’t done your job as a leader.

Although I don’t enjoy writing annual reviews, they create accountability for both the teammate and the leader. Come back next week for Part 2 – we’re going to cover why your annual reviews aren’t doing well and how to change them!