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15 Shocking Statistics on Performance Reviews


It is no secret that traditional performance reviews have declined in popularity.

In this article, we list some interesting statistics about performance reviews.

performance review statistics
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Performance review statistics:

1-2) 95% of managers hate performance reviews. (Source: Payscale) Managers said they spend an average of 210 hours a year in performance management activities (Source: SHRM)

Managers put hours upon hours into reviewing employees’ performance. If managers aren’t happy with traditional performance reviews, organizations should really start looking into simplifying their performance management process.

We recommend using simple performance review templates that 1) help streamline the process and 2) actually develop and motivate employees.

3) 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360-degree reviews (Source: SHRM)

360-degree reviews allow for a more accurate representation of employee performance. 360-degree performance reviews include manager, peer, and self-reviews which can help eliminate biases that occur and provide the opportunity for employees to give their own insights about their performance. When conducting 360-degree reviews, it is highly beneficial to have a 360 feedback software to be able to document all feedback in one place.

4) Only 14% of employees think that performance reviews inspire them to improve. (Source: Gallup)

The traditional performance reviews are not motivating to employees. It could be due to many reasons:

  • employees don’t feel like the performance review is fair
  • employees are anxious about the entire process (which often happens if this assessment only occurs once a year)
  • there aren’t any actionable steps taken after the review (i.e., the review is not forward looking)

If performance conversations only happen annually, it may be time to consider adding more frequent check-ins. This can address the aforementioned reasons. We also recommend that managers are trained in giving effective feedback.

5) Performance reviews cost many organizations a lot of money- in fact it could cost as much as $2.4 million to $35 million a year in lost working hours for an organization of 10,000 employees to take part in traditional performance reviews. (Source: Gallup)

Not only are traditional reviews timely, and often ineffective, but they are costly! Organizations should be investing in processes that streamline their performance reviews.

6-7) 90% of performance reviews are painful to the employee- both good and bad! (Source: 22% of employees have called in sick rather than face a performance review (Source: Trinet)

You read that right! Only 10% of performance reviews are seen as enjoyable for employees to sit through. Organizations should be examining how they are conducting their performance reviews. Are they too long? Are they too negative? Are employees getting the opportunity to give upward feedback. If employees are finding reviews painful, they are likely going to be disengaged and unmotivated when it comes to their performance.

8) 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week, not annually. (Source: OfficeVibe)

Employees want more feedback. Give them feedback often, not just once a year. For more information, check out our article on the benefits of building a culture of feedback.

9) At least 30% of performance reviews result in decreased employee performance. (Source: Psychological Bulletin)

Performance reviews are supposed to develop employees. If performance reviews are not providing employees with strategies to improve, their performance will continue to decrease.

10) Only 42% of employees trust their boss, whereas 58% would trust a stranger. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Trust between manager and direct reports is important. It can be challenging to build trust between both parties if performance reviews are taking place only once a year. If continuous feedback is implemented, it allows more conversations to take place and hence, acts as a foundation where trust can be built.

11-12) 80% of Generation Y employees would prefer to be recognized on-the-spot than in formal reviews (Source: LinkedIn). 80% of employees prefer immediate feedback to annual reviews. (Source: Adobe)

New generations are entering the workplace, and these new workers want feedback and recognition in real-time. If performance reviews are the only time employees are receiving feedback/ recognition, organizations are going to have a hard time engaging, motivating, and retaining their employees.

13-15) When managers provide weekly (vs. annual) feedback, team members are: 5.2x more likely to strongly agree that they receive meaningful feedback, 3.2x more likely to strongly agree they are motivated to do outstanding work, and 2.7x more likely to be engaged at work. (Sources: Gallup)

This makes implementing continuous feedback a no brainer. If managers are not meeting the requirements to be able to provide feedback to their employees continuously, it may be time to turn to a performance management solution that can make the process easier for them to do so.


Performance reviews have declined in popularity; however, this does not mean that annual performance reviews are dead. They can still help develop and motivate employees when they are done correctly and supplemented with more continuous performance management practices.

Does your company still rely on traditional performance reviews as the only way to develop employees? If you are thinking of revamping your employee performance management process, reach out. We can help!

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