Disengagement: The Annual Performance Review


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The annual performance review – a known cause of employee disengagement.

It is time again for the dreaded annual performance review.  A time where managers are under the gun for writing any number of reviews and their employees anxiously await what is contained in that review.  The process is dreaded because it is often viewed as a necessary evil that is required by the organization to be submitted by a certain calendar date each year.  Unfortunately, these annual performance reviews rarely produce meaningful performance enhancement and the ownership and accountability for the actual performance review can be misplaced if it falls to the manager to complete.

Fortunately for all of us, the annual performance review process is rapidly evolving.  Rather than leader-led, employee-compliant discussions, the next generation “performance reviews” evolve to employee-led, leader supported, organizational enabled (ELO) 20-30-minute monthly performance connections.

Rather than the manager setting expectations at the beginning of the year and giving the employee their annual performance review at the end of the year, organizations are evolving to our ELO model for engaged performance.  The future performance connection looks to the employee to set performance expectations with their manager that should align to the vision the manager has for their organization.  Then the review of actual performance as measured against those expectations, is with short (20-30 minute), focused performance conversations held monthly and led by the employee. 

The manager’s role in this model is to pursue future performance while the review of performance is where is should be, with the individual that is performing.  Now, instead of anxiously awaiting the verdict on one’s performance and millions of hours spent by managers writing reviews up to the very last minute before HR’s deadline, the employee and manager are clear and aligned on expectations and on the performance in achieving those expectations each month, with no end of year surprises.  The end of the year performance review now becomes next year’s performance vision and planning session.

It does take training, tools and reinforcement to make the performance switch, but it is well worth the investment.  Turn the dreaded performance review into the coveted performance pursuit.


For more information on how to more actively engage in your organization join our DESTINATION: SUCCESS page, or contact us!


Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in enabling success by developing a dynamic and customized pathway to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.