Performance Review Process is Inaccurate and Ineffective, New Report by Impact Achievement Group Reveals

SEATTLE/June 2, 2011—A new report by Impact Achievement Group reveals a disparity between how the C-suite and other employees rate their managers’ effectiveness at using their organizations’ performance review process/system.

The report, “The Performance Review Process: Facts and Fiction,” surveyed human resource professionals, managers, vice presidents and chief executive officers on how well their performance review system works—not in theory but in actual practice.

The report revealed, among other findings, that:

-Half of all respondents felt it was only sometimes, or never, true that outstanding performers are satisfied with their performance ratings compared to the ratings of others.
-Respondents were almost evenly split over whether poor performance marks made it easy and justifiable to take appropriate action.
-Over 42 percent of respondents said that managers and supervisors tend to group performance marks for employees toward the middle of the rating scale.

The report also showed consistent disparities between how chief executive officers and vice presidents, who are often divorced from the performance review process, and employees at all other levels rate the ability of supervisors and managers to conduct performance reviews. Chief executive officers and vice presidents were consistently more optimistic about their managers’ abilities, while those who labor alongside or beneath them painted a less rosy picture.

For instance, consider this survey statement: “Our managers and supervisors ensure performance goals and expectations reflect the delivery of results (output) and not activity, effort, and input.” Just over 62 percent of chief executive officers and vice presidents felt that this is often or always true, while only 43 percent of the other group felt the same. This difference of almost 20 percentage points suggests a disconnect for upper-level leaders between the theoretical and the real—how the performance review process is set up to work and how it actually operates.

“The results of this survey should be a real eye-opener to those in leadership regarding the realities of most performance review processes,” said Lee Klepinger, president of Impact Achievement Group. “An unsatisfactory review process discourages high performers, which can lead to unwanted turnover. Managers and supervisors need clear guidance to carry out consistent, fair and effective reviews so that all employees can flourish.”

The report is available for complimentary download at

About Impact Achievement Group
Impact Achievement Group provides assessment, coaching, and leadership development solutions. By integrating and blending the world’s best assessment and recruiting processes, workshops and eLearning, coaching and measurement programs, Impact Achievement Group helps organizations improve leadership and management competencies to achieve employee engagement, accelerate innovation, and impact bottom line results.

Lee Klepinger
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Heath Davis Havlick
Fisher Vista/HRmarketer


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