Why Your Employees Dread Their Annual Reviews

Are your employees discouraged, weary, or tend to sigh at the very mention of annual reviews? If so, this may be a telltale sign that you are not doing your job as a leader. With annual reviews right around the corner, now is the time to step up your game and create accountability for both you and your team.

Here are four major reasons why your annual reviews may be unsatisfactory for your employees:

  1. You don’t take the time to properly prepare: Set aside plenty of time to write and process your team’s annual reviews. No, this doesn’t mean starting them the day before – annual reviews deserve your time, attention, and best effort possible.

  2. There’s an element of surprise: As a leader, you should always have a summary of what you’ve talked about with your team members throughout the year (including praise and feedback). Annual reviews should be an overview of all the conversations you’ve been having – hence, there are no big surprises. As I said last week, annual reviews should be the most boring conversation that you have all year.

  3. You don’t deliver your reviews in person: Always go the extra mile to meet each individual for a face-to-face annual review. You should never email the review to an employee and expect a digital sign off. If the review can’t be done in person, conduct a video call instead. Taking the time to meet with the individuals on your team will show them that you care about their personal and professional growth.

  4. You base the review on the last three months: Annual reviews include the word annual for a reason. Avoid focusing too much on the past three months and provide feedback for the whole year. You should always be taking good notes of employee tasks, projects, goals, and priorities. At Service Express, we use our SR5+ system that includes ROIs, Scorecards, and 5/15s to collect performance information for reviews.

Annual reviews can be a great learning experience for you and your employees when they’re done the right way! If you conduct annual reviews, what are some best practices that you’ve established over the years?