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How To Streamline Your Performance Review Process

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How Does Your Work Flow?

Our recent article, 9 Ways To Reward Employees Between RaisesHow To Streamline Your Performance ReviewProcess gave away some tips for rewarding employees throughout the year when they may not be due for a raise (basically it was just an article about giving your employees more sandwiches). But we want to go a step further and help you streamline your performance review process altogether.

How often do you review? After 90 days? Quarterly? Annually? On the anniversary of the employee’s hire date? Who knows! Who can remember?!

Your Human Resources Information System (HRIS) can remember. It can notify you like a cruel-but-effective alarm clock when your new hire needs to have their 90 day check-in, or when your employee is due for their annual evaluation. Perhaps your company is of the variety that must perform regulatory reviews to comply with union rules or to receive government funding. In these cases, it is essential that your process does not fall to the wayside.


The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

Have you heard of it? The short introduction is that it’s like a tag-team-style setup for a chain of events to happen. Workflows can easily be set up in an HRIS or in even your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) to assist with marketing or customer relations, etc. They can be utilized externally and internally, as with the employee review process. Here’s how a workflow can help with that as best explained through this fancy chart:

How To Streamline Your Performance Review Workflow

And all this happens automatically, making connections and moving onto the next task as fast as you are finished with the first. Now that’s flow.

4 Problems A Performance Review Solves4 Problems A Performance Review Workflow Solves:

  1. Incomplete or missed reviews: Not only does a workflow move you through this process at lightning speed, it also helps you see tasks through to completion. When workflow is making connections the behind-the-scenes, it’s next to impossible to let a particular job go unfinished because of forgetfulness or lack of communication. It can even be set up so that if, for example, the direct supervisor fails to do his/her part, their supervisor is notified so it is apparent why it’s not done.
  2. Employee morale issues: Unfinished review business can cause morale in your company to plummet. Employees might feel devalued and underappreciated. If they’re working hard, they want their boss to know it! (side note: Regular reviews and check-ins can even encourage employees to ramp up their work ethic, especially if they know they can get a nice perk after some good feedback!)
  3. Reviews on paper: Cross-checking information, storing it in a file, passing files back and forth, making copies – all unnecessary. Visibility can be transparent so the review is 360 degree process where everyone can see everything; or it can be limited to one-way accessibility for only supervisors to view. Plus, everything is tracked, stored, and saved for you in a nice clean set of data that you can refer to in the future.
  4. Retroactive pay: Sometimes, the reviews get done, but the pay increase never gets enacted. With a simple click, this ensures that the final piece of the puzzle doesn’t go missing. Retroactive pay can cause an imbalance in the cash flow and budget of the company. Ain’t nobody got time for that!


True Life: Paper Reviews Gone Bad

Here’s a realistic example of paper reviews gone bad.

Brad’s Trucking is a company that employs licensed, union drivers who are assigned a territory and make route deliveries each day.

There are 230 drivers along the east coast.

They are currently supposed to have semi-annual reviews, according to the union rules, based on the employee hire date.

Problem Number One

They are on the road daily, so it is easy to push off a review on someone who isn’t in the warehouse often or for very long.

Problem Number Two

The reviews have been completed on paper for the past 45 years. The same format that was used in 1967 is still used today. (You can see how this chain of events might go.)

When he/she finally gets around to it, the employee self-evaluates by filling out this 60s era worksheet and leaves it on the district supervisor’s desk. District supervisor gets 36 papers a day on his/her desk.

Said review gets buried beneath sales reports, dot-matrix-printed sheets of data, quotas, purchase orders, miscellaneous requests, birthday cards, notes, and whatever else the company still does on paper.

Review never gets read by the supervisor, employee never gets the supposed mid-year raise. Employee goes to HR. HR gets nervous about union backlash and inquires supervisor about the employee’s self-evaluation.

After an hour and a half of meticulously searching through Paper Pile of the Century, supervisor finds the review, which might or might not have water spilled on it, blurring the ink on the employee’s answers to the questions. (NOTE: This is not an extreme example!)

Once the HR team has had enough, Brad’s Trucking gets on an HRIS and inputs some information about how the employee review process will go. A review workflow is implemented and now, with reminders, saved data, and automated raises after an approval, the employee can safely count on their semi-annual review and potential raise.

Workflows can quickly help you simplify the administrative processes that are eating up valuable time that can be spent doing other, more meaningful tasks that actually require your thought and input.

Are You Ready For A Smoother Workflow?

Want to learn more? Click here to read our thoughts on breaking HR out of its “admin” silo!

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