Survey says: Conducting effective employee reviews

Home Columns Survey says: Conducting effective employee reviews

Jan 4/11; Volume 30/Number 14

By David Romano

In a recent study published in Forbes magazine, 57% of CEOs/company owners believe their staffs are “regularly recognized” for their hard work and contributions. Employees who agree? Nine percent. While 61% of employees say they would welcome immediate, on-the-spot feedback from bosses and peers about how they’re doing, only 24% say they actually receive it. This is pretty scary when considering Generation X and millennials are two groups that demand constant feedback and recognition to drive maximum performance.

Many managers think reviews can be time-consuming and cumbersome. But there is no logical reason why they couldn’t track and report the same information in real time instead of once every 12 months.

Fifty-six percent of flooring companies reported they conduct formal reviews. However, they do so only once a year. A far more productive way of giving feedback is having “coaching conversations” every day. One of the reasons flooring retailers only conduct annual reviews is because they feel they create the opportunity for employees to stick their hands out and ask for more money—a conversation that many do their best to avoid. However, when done right, the more common words you hear are “thank you” instead of “pay me.”

Now I understand you have a business to run and customers to service, meaning constant formal feedback can be impossible. However, one-minute praises and reprimands, in addition to frequent formal reviews, will help. Think about a football team. During a game the coach and the quarterback are in constant communication. What if they only talked once a year?

According to data gathered from a substantiated survey conducted by Benchmarkinc in which several hundred flooring business owners participated over a three year period ending in 2013, those flooring companies that completed annual employee reviews experienced:

  • 5.2% greater sales productivity
  • 4.8% greater employee productivity
  • 19% higher sales volume than those who do not conduct annual employee reviews

For those of you that would like more detail on how to conduct effective reviews, consider the following:

Avoid being too vague

The 10-minute performance review really doesn’t work. Reviews can only work when you use specific examples that will improve an employee’s job performance.


Employers need to spend time preparing for a performance review in order for it to be effective. If you have 10 employees that you need to give reviews to, spread them out based on hire dates and don’t wait until the end of the year. Throughout their work life, keep notes on specific instances of both good and bad performances and job habits.

Follow up

As part of the review, you should be setting goals for the coming year. Performance reviews only work if there is follow-up throughout the entire year and not just for an hour (or less) once a year.

Use employee self-reviews

Self-reviews are helpful because they give employees a way to reflect on their own performance. These reviews will become discussions on how you both feel about his/her performance.


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