Performance Reviews Pros & Cons

The performance review is usually a standard part of an employee's working year. The review is a time when an employee can sit down with his manager and discuss how his performance has been throughout the previous year. Although this review process seems to be a part of almost every company, it does not mean that the process is without its detractors. There are several pros and cons regarding employee reviews that you need to look at before your company decides on an evaluation process.

Regular Updates

The performance review gives an employee a regular update on how her progress within the company is coming along. By doing the review yearly, an employee can see what her managers believe her accomplishments were and what she has to work on for the year ahead. A year gives a manager a good amount of time to accurately make determinations about performance and set long term goals for workers.


The review process can be a good way for an employee to get extra training. By its nature, a review will encompass the job as a whole, instead of what the employee is working on that second. When this occurs, managers and employees can get to the bottom of the reasons behind the employee’s overall performance. If the employee is doing well and wants to enter new working areas, a manager can recognize that and get that employee to the correct people. If the employee is failing, the manager can determine why and get the employee into training.


The biggest problem with performance reviews is the fact that they are done by people. Because of this, bias and unevenness in the review process can creep in. For example, a new manager may come into the company who does not get along with one of the employees. As much as the manager tries not to, she may judge an employee she doesn't like harsher than one she does. This bias can lead to questions regarding the entire review process if it is too noticeable.


Any review that takes place only once a year can leave an employee feeling blindsided, especially if he finds that his manager believes there is room for improvment. Managers who are untrained in the art of the performance review may not take time throughout the year to communicate with the employee, especially if the employee is doing an adequate job. When review time comes, this adequate employee may feel surprised that there are issues with his performance.