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5 Steps to Running a Good Performance Review

Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR

by Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR
November 10, 2016

Good performance reviews work. What’s more, they can help organisations of all sizes achieve results.

Good performance reviews work. What’s more, they can help organisations of all sizes achieve results.

You might have read articles recently celebrating the “death of the performance review”. In my observation, these articles relate to the performance review processes seemingly favoured by large organisations who have encumbered the performance review with bureaucracy and rigidity.

Inflexible rules, deadlines, forced distribution curves and crazy paperwork requirements have piled-up to result in the corporate murder of the performance review. The recent batch of articles demonstrate a subtle step away from the scene of the crime to claim “death by natural causes” for the poor, dead performance review.

So, I’ll say it again; good performance reviews work.

Good performance reviews are conversations not forms.

Speaking from much experience (good and bad), here’s how you get the most out of a performance review:

Deliver to the right audience

Positions that have a genuine opportunity to deliver over-and-above results for betterment of the organisation and the individual should have a review. Positions characterised by routine work patters, that rarely change, do not need formal performance reviews; performance management in these roles happens daily.

Focus on the conversation not the forms

While the forms provide a simple and easy way to articulate expectations, track performance and measure results, they should never replace the conversations with your people.

Get the review cycle right

This might be different for different roles with the organisation. While most organisations will want to align the full review to an annual cycle, regular check-ins should occur throughout the year and make sure the regular check-in happens at a meaningful time.

Keep it simple

Long and complicate forms with massively complex matrices and measures detract from the real conversation and encourage a focus on filling out forms. Try this structure:


  • What you need to do to be successful
  • No more than 5
  • Only that are over-and-above the core role, nothing about “turning up on time”
  • These are “hard” measures, easy to articulate and measure


  • What skills do you need to achieve the objectives
  • These are the softer measures that can sometimes be harder to rate
  • Linking them to the objectives in this way makes them easier to measure

    Development Plan

  • The development activities you and the employee will complete
  • They will help improve skills, which will help achieve the objectives
  • And help with career development

Use software

Anybody who uses a paper-based performance review system today has lost their way. It’s the equivalent of writing a cheque to buy your groceries… even nana doesn’t do it anymore. The many, many benefits of using performance review software over paper are too great to list… surely this argument is already won?

Make performance reviews easy with MyHR

Follow these steps and you’ll notice how your performance reviews start to encourage ongoing and active conversations around performance. They will help you all deliver great results, rewarding good people and dealing with problems.

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Picture of Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR

Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR

14 years of international experience in large organisations, with geo-dispersed workforces; Jason has a breadth of experience from fast paced day-to-day HR management to long term business strategy development and government consultation. Jason launched MyHR in 2013 with a vision to change the face of HR. MyHR is intuitive, easy-to-use, online HR software, coupled with a team of dedicated HR professionals, providing customised support to over 600 organisations who employ 10,000 people in NZ, Australia, UK and Singapore.