Workers, Managers on Different Planets Regarding Performance Reviews

December 19, 2006 ( - A new survey has found only 39% of employees surveyed believe their company's performance review process leads to better work while nearly seven in 10 (67%) employers said it does.

A news release from, an online compensation site, said its 2006 Performance Review Survey found 82% of employers said they believe they provide clear goals to their employees prior to formal performance reviews, while only 46% of workers said they clearly understood what was told to them.

Not only that, but, 43% of employees surveyed believe their input is included in the review process compared to 83% of employers who reported they include the input of their employees.

Another discrepancy is in the apparent frequency of performance-related discussions. Fifty-five percent of employers reported that managers conduct formal performance reviews two or more times a year. Only 30% of employees said the reviews took place that frequently.

Regarding more informal discussions about performance, 75% of employers said they hold at least quarterly discussions compared to just 27% of employees who said the same.

Employees and employers perceive the feasibility of reaching their incentive or bonus objectives differently as well, as the survey found:

  • 99% of employers said they believe bonus and incentive programs are based on realistic expectations, and
  • 16% of employees said they believe their incentive or bonus objectives are well beyond their reach.

“The survey results show significant gaps between employers’ and employees’ views. This indicates the need within many organizations to improve the overall performance review process,” said Mark Albrecht, vice president of talent management solutions at, in the news release. “There are many ways to enhance productivity in the workplace and none is more important than administering a review process that is seen as balanced and results in clear goals and performance objectives for each employee.”

The survey covered more than 2,000 employees and 330 HR professionals, and was proportionally represented across company sizes from less than 50 employees to over 1,000 employees. To download a copy of the survey results go here .