Employee Engagement & Company Culture | TINYpulse

The Miseries of Performance Reviews, As Told by Dilbert

Written by Sabrina Son | Mar 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Performance reviews have such a bad rap for being inaccurate, biased, and a huge time suck. Mainly because traditional ones are so terrible to begin with. Our research on performance reviews found that the top complaints about this process is that it's too time-consuming, biased, and focuses only on the negative.

Because we all have experience with annual or peer-to-peer reviews, who better to showcase the miseries of going through this process than Dilbert?


1. Surprising assumptions 

SOURCE: dilbert.com

If you don't touch base with your employees frequently between performance reviews, don't be shocked that your employee is surprised by their appraisal.


2. Baseless reviews

SOURCE: dilbert.com

Without clear data or anything concrete to go off of, many managers will write up baseless evaluations — even for periods where employees may not be working.


3. Innacurate representation

SOURCE: dilbert.com

Our report also found that the number two thing that people would change about performance reviews is to make them more goal or metrics oriented. That way, employees won't get marked down for not washing their hands after the bathroom (unless they work in the food industry!).


4. Me, myself, and I 

SOURCE: dilbert.com

One of the top complaints was that performance reviews are a one-way conversation. Sometimes these meetings seem more like a speech or presentation rather than an open dialogue about an employee's performance.


5.  Surprise factor

SOURCE: dilbert.com

A closed dialogue throughout the year means employees will be blindsided when they step into the review meeting. Avoid this by having weekly one-on-one meetings so both manager and employee can stay in the loop about performance on goals.


6. Useless feedback

SOURCE: dilbert.com

Although these reviews are meant to evaluate performance, they're also a great opportunity to coach employees. So something generic like "keep up wrk" doesn't really give employees much to go off of.


7. Late to the game 

SOURCE: dilbert.com

Another one of the top complaints from employees is that issues are discussed too late. Nine months is a long time. Heck, even one month is a long time. A 30-minute meeting between manager and employee can do wonders for engagement, recognition, and performance.


8. Mismatched reviews

SOURCE: dilbert.com

Managers and employees need to be aligned when it comes to expectations. Work with your employee to set up goals so that they meet both your worker's career path and the business's objectives. 


9. Things can get nasty

SOURCE: dilbert.com

How many of you do 360 reviews? And how many of you tie it to compensation? Creating a dog-eat-dog environment is extremely dangerous. When you make people fight for raises while evaluating their peers, you can expect some scathing reviews.

Performance reviews do have their place in the working world. Make them transparent through weekly check-ins and data driven with goals to eliminate any biases.