We have not blazed any trails in our campaign to improve performance reviews over the past 25 years that I have been in the field. In our efforts to rework the performance review process, we have added ratings, removed ratings, included goals, removed goals, added self-assessment, removed self-assessment, added competencies, inserted multi-rater input – the list goes on. We have even debated whether or not performance reviews should be linked to compensation. But we truly have not come up with the magic formula for evaluating employees and giving feedback.

[Tweet “When it comes to #performancereviews, one size does not fit all. #feedback”]

When it comes to giving feedback, it’s time to get off the merry-go-round. We can’t keep doing it the same tired way, and we can’t simply skip providing feedback; shareholders won’t stand for it. As we keep trying to solve this issue, it has occurred to me that we are going about it all wrong. Unlike the finance and accounting functions that has FASB or Sarbanes to provide standardized procedures and policies for how things are done, we do not have that in HR.  It’s impossible to apply a policy across the board that covers every scenario in every company. At a recent conference with 18 of my esteemed colleagues – all CHROs of known public and private, global companies – we had a two-hour discussion on this topic.

When It Comes to Performance Reviews and Feedback, One Size Does Not Fit All

  • Be open and flexible in considering what will work best in your company.
  • Be bold and try something different.
  • Be open to hearing from all parts of the organization through focus groups.

Do not rest on your laurels and accept performance management the way it is – or think because it was this way in one company and must be this way in another company. In the people business, customization is the name of the game.

[Tweet “In the people business, customization is the name of the game. #feedback #performancereviews”]

Read more about the feedback merry-go-round.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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