The hours of preparation. The fear. The knowledge that you somehow have to come up with some ‘targets’ for the year ahead - and you’re not even allowed to use ‘Newcastle gaining promotion’, ‘England winning the Ashes’, or ‘breaking Brian Harvey’s record for number of pills in one night’.
If you hate your annual performance review, it seems you’re not alone, but you might be surprised at the scale of loathing for it that’s out there – both from bosses and employees.
A new Adobe survey of 1,500 office workers made a host of surprising findings, including that 22% of them had cried as a result of a performance review, with 20% wanting to quit their job.
And it turns out that men are more sensitive than women to this process: 25% of men admitted crying compared to 18% of women, with 28% of men wanting to change jobs in the aftermath of one, compared to 11% of women.
There was a finding for the Brexiters and Daily Mail readers too, with the news that millennials (aka ‘generation snowflake’) were most likely to react badly: 34% of them had cried, compared to 18% of generation X and just 9% of the stoic baby boomers. Mind you, the latter group were probably consoling themselves with their impending early retirement and mortgage-free houses which they bought for a fiver, so they couldn’t get too upset.
The survey revealed that in general, both bosses and workers alike think that performance reviews are a waste of time, cause unnecessary stress, and unhealthy competition in the workplace. Instead, they both believe that ongoing feedback in the moment – rather than grouping it all together in one big meeting – would be a more effective way of working.
However, according to a Bloomberg article, companies that have ditched the ranking systems have actually seen a decline in worker performances, so it seems that, while performance reviews aren’t the most enjoyable thing, they might still have a certain level of effectiveness.
In conclusion: work is depressing, whichever way you look at it. Stick that in your performance review and see how it goes down.