Is an Annual Review the Best Way to Give Feedback for Leadership Roles?

Performance reviews have traditionally been a once-a-year thing. But as Millennials become the largest group in the workforce, companies are changing how they do their employee reviews.

That’s because Millennials are a little different than the Boomers. Millennials are looking for more constant feedback about their performance, more in the way of coaching than just critique.

Moreover, annual performance reviews have other kinds of drawbacks. With an annual review, managers are obligated to review documentation that goes back an entire year for an employee. That can be a pretty tall order, especially if it is done for every worker. In addition, you are condensing into one review of a person’s performance for an entire year. But that is such a substantial amount of time, and performance can vary a great deal during the period.

Ongoing feedback to an employee is often considered to be more effective than an annual performance review for several reasons:


Ongoing feedback is given in real-time, which allows the employee to make adjustments and improvements immediately. This can help to prevent small issues from becoming bigger problems.


Ongoing feedback is more specific than an annual review. It allows the employee to understand exactly what they are doing well and what they need to improve.

Employee engagement

Ongoing feedback can help to increase employee engagement by giving them a sense of ownership and control over their work.

Manager-employee relationship

Regular feedback sessions can help to build a stronger relationship between an employee and their manager. It allows for open communication.

Continuous improvement

Ongoing feedback can help to create a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

Greater Flexibility

An annual review process is often a one-size-fits-all approach, but ongoing feedback allows managers to tailor the feedback to the specific needs of the employee, rather than adhering to a rigid process.

A better understanding of employee needs

Ongoing feedback allows managers to better understand the needs and concerns of their employees, and to address them in a timely and effective manner.

Greater accountability

By providing ongoing feedback, managers are holding employees accountable for their work and performance on an ongoing basis. This can help to ensure that employees are meeting expectations and making progress towards goals.

Better alignment with company goals

Ongoing feedback allows managers to ensure that the employee’s work is aligned with the overall goals of the organization.

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