Alternatives To Traditional Performance Reviews

Alternatives To Traditional Performance Reviews

Many companies regularly conduct performance reviews of their employees. These meetings are designed to evaluate the performance of the worker, generally over the course of 6 to 12 months. While the goal of such reviews is to increase employee collaboration and performance, some have raised questions as to the effectiveness of this procedure. Many critics point out that performance reviews deal with things that have already occurred, sometimes weeks or months in the past, and they may not necessarily increase productivity. Below are some alternatives.

Employee Coaching

A growing number of businesses are using coaching as opposed to performance reviews because coaching provides guidance and support, as opposed to just feedback. When employees receive coaching they will gain greater self-awareness, and because it is a continuous process this results in continuous growth and improvement. The best employees are those that develop the ability to solve problems themselves, or in collaboration with other workers. There is a reason football, baseball, and basketball teams have coaches, and it is because the process works.

Evaluating Co-workers

Evaluating co-workers is a process where the managers will pick a group of employees to review their peers. It uses a consensus, and is considered helpful because it increases collaboration as well as interpersonal skills. It is critically important that the results of co-worker evaluations not be connected to promotions or penalties as this could weaken the effectiveness of the procedure. During the first few months co-worker evaluations should be seen as being experimental.

The Performance Preview

The performance preview is the opposite of the performance review, because it focuses on the future as opposed to what has already occurred in the past. Another factor that makes the performance preview distinct is that it focuses on both the employee and manager, and the actions both parties can take individually to increase productivity in the future. Traditional performance reviews are limited because they focus exclusively on the employee, and fail to review the actions of the manager, which should also be considered.


Self-evaluation works best when it is used in conjunction with the other evaluation methods mentioned above. The reason for this is because few employees are objective when it comes to their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Each employee should be given a customized evaluation form. The form should be structured based on the personality, skills and attitude needed to successfully perform the job. Employees should give themselves a rating based on the tasks featured on the form while coming up with ways in which they can improve.

Employee evaluations are important, but to be effective they must be structured and approached in the right way. Many employers are moving beyond traditional performance reviews because there are too many issues which they do not address, and it isn’t clear that they make employees more productive or increase their ability to work well with others. By incorporating diverse evaluation methods employers can develop a greater understanding of their workers and assist them in unlocking their true potential.