Feedback with no surprises

The problem with the annual performance appraisal, to name one, is surprises.

According to, “Employees prefer continuous performance management over annual review as they feel the latter limits collaboration and communication with their managers. Morgan McKinsey, a global professional services recruiter found that

· 65% of employees said the annual review was not motivating to them while 55% were unhappy with the amount of daily feedback they receive from their managers.

· Some feedback from employees regarding this practice includes; “relying on the annual review doesn’t allow us to solve problems timely”, “it needs to be more frequent”, “this is based on recent performance rather than overall performance”.

· In contrast, 44% of employees said continuous review improves collaboration with their managers and allows them to solve problems quickly.

A key objective in addition to the obvious development of the employee is to have no surprises for the employee. Since the manager and the employee have consistently and frequently discussed the employee’s strengths, development needs and corresponding development plans, the formal appraisal at year-end should simply be a continuation of what has already been discussed.

Therefore, it’s important for the manager to build a discipline of looking for “coaching moments” to provide feedback, teach and discuss career aspirations. Doing this will make the year-end appraisal using an American expression, “a piece of cake”.