• Stephan Busch

Staff evaluation and annual reviews. Why do we bother at all ?

The time of the years comes when we have evaluate our staff and management again. And then we also get evaluated by someone high above.

Does that makes sense?

How useful this evaluations are depends of course how much thought is behind them. How much planning has been done. Do they serve a real purpose or is it just something that has to be done for the filing cabinet?

Unfortunately most of the time they are just done for the filing cabinet as we seldom ask if they make sense. Do they make sense in the form we execute them? Do the questions make sense? Is it too much nonsense in there or are important items missing?

Although virtually all the companies surveyed use some form of annual evaluation as their chief means of giving performance feedback to employees, only 2% of HR people think these reviews accomplish anything useful.”


I write this because I just digged myself out under a pile of filled out reviews ( must have been some nice trees before) and all comments about this event I received from the ones involved ( Managers & Staff) were negative . Yes they are needed to receive the bonus in this case but it would make more sense to use one piece of paper that says Bonus yes or no behind the staff names and not 3 pages per staff. In this case everybody involved is sure that they maybe might be used as a reference in the future but that nobody will take the time to read them all or – hell no – react to any of the content.

“57% of CEOs believe their people are “regularly recognized” for their hard work and contributions. Employees who agree: 9%.”


Once you give feedback everyday, coach your staff and develop them this annual reviews are only a waste of time and money. A ritual that is performed because? Because we have always done it that way.

During the year you help the staff that needs help, move the ones forward that deserve it and sort the ones out that I do not, can not or don’t want to contribute. You review daily and this feedback is what staff needs.

“The No. 1 reason people give for quitting, according to the U.S. Department of Labor: They don’t feel that their efforts are recognized or appreciated by their direct bosses.”


“But we need something on paper”, is one reason you hear too often. The first question that pops up in my head is: Does it have to be that much paper?

Legal reasons are used to defend this evaluations even in places that spend a lot of time to manoeuvre around laws and regulations the whole year. And then – are they really helping in legal cases?

“The only legal justification pertains to showing just cause for termination and other disciplinary action.

While that is the justification used, no matter how strong their design, most performance appraisals are executed so poorly that they may actually harm a legal case”

By Dr. John SullivanJanuary 31, 2011

And then they cost a lot of time and money which could be spend on either the customer or – that’s an idea – lets pay the bonus without the nonsense appraisal and still save money!

"My estimate, which includes a managers preparation time, employee time, HR processing time, opportunity costs, and advances in technology, still puts the process cost at over $2,500 per employee per year."

By Dr. John SullivanJanuary 31, 2011

I will go back now and fill out the rest and forward it to someone who can file it wherever he wants.


© 2017 by Stephan Busch