95% of managers are not satisfied with the annual evaluation interview

by Danique Geskus | May 14, 2024

An annual review meeting, they are a regular part of many organizations. But let’s face it, often they feel more like an obligatory routine than a valuable exchange between employer and employee. It is not for nothing that 90% of HR managers report that these conversations do not provide the qualitative information they should (SHRM, 2015).

While these conversations are meant to be a vehicle for growth and performance improvement, they often prove to be a source of frustration and misunderstanding. Let’s zoom in on this problem and uncover the pain points experienced by many organizations and employees.


Pain points of the evaluation interview

Both employees and HR/management experience several pain points when conducting the evaluation interview. As a result, many companies fail to see the value of evaluation interviews and even want to do away with the evaluation interview altogether. We have listed all the pain points experienced by employees and HR/management below.


From employees
  • The performance review is seen as a “must”.
  • The performance appraisal process is perceived as unfair. Research by Kilian Wawoe (2017) shows that employees feel that the way appraisals are arrived at is not fair and can only be traced back to actual performance to a small extent.
  • The performance review does not give attention to the employee’s talents. An article by HR Practice (2018) shows that only 15% of employees feel the conversation matches their skills.
  • Finally, a whopping 66% of employees report that an annual interview cycle lowers their productivity.


From HR/management
  • 90% of HR managers say they do not consider an annual evaluation interview to contain qualitative information
  • 95% of managers are not satisfied with annual evaluation Performance Management process
  • 66% of employees report that an annual Performance Management process lowers their productivity.
  • The average manager spends about 210 hours a year on the evaluation conversation


Would you rather get right to work addressing these pain points? This template provides guidance for both the manager and the employee and ensures that all relevant topics are covered. We have developed a comprehensive template, including sample questions. Download the evaluation interview template for free now!


Cause of problems surrounding the evaluation interview

All the bad experiences with the evaluation interview obviously stemmed from something. The cause of the above problems are the following 3 points:

  • Due to unclear expectations, evaluations take place on the manager’s gut feeling and it is unclear what the employee can develop.
  • Evaluations take place infrequently or not at all, making them a snapshot in time. As a result, it lacks recognition and says little about an entire year’s performance.
  • The scores given in an evaluations vary by manager, are not calibrated (sales manager scores higher) and are therefore unfair.

As a result, poorly performing employees go unnoticed and high-performing employees leave due to lack of appreciation. Resulting in high costs.


How do you do gain valuable insights?

By making evaluations objective, you ensure that the full potential of the talent is utilized and you retain talent. To accomplish this, a number of components are essential:


1. Make expectations clear by using the job profile

By conducting evaluations based on employees’ job profiles, you ensure clear expectations for both employee and manager. The job profile lists the expected skills and competencies associated with the position including behavioral examples. As a result, the employee always knows specifically what is expected of them. Job profiles are the basis for performance appraisals and salary policies. They establish objective metrics to measure how well an employee performs based on job requirements.

Job Description in Learned


2. Implement an ongoing dialogue.

By implementing an HR cycle in your organization, you enable continuous dialogue (Gallup, 2019). This is when the manager and employee have ongoing conversations with each other. In fact, companies that have continuous dialogue see employee engagement increase by 280% (Gallup, 2016). This increased involvement provides:

  • A 26% increase in the productivity of these teams
  • A 41% reduction in voluntary employee departures
  • A reduction of up to 43% in absenteeism.

easily conduct appraisal interview, evaluation interview and planning interview with benchmarking of results


3. Calibrating evaluations.

After each evaluation, it is important to calibrate the total scores (SYNDIO, 2023). An effective tool for this is the 9-grid model, in which employees are positioned relative to each other based on various themes. This model identifies low and high performers. During a calibration session, managers must substantiate their scores. Leaders discuss employee performance together, incorporating insights from colleagues who work closely with the employees in question. It often turns out that this leads to different insights than the immediate supervisor’s initial score. As a result, scores are adjusted for fair evaluation.

Learned UI, Performance module in which the 9-grid system is visible.



Easily conduct the evaluation interview

This is where Learned comes in. With our advanced performance management platform, organizations can transition to a continuous, goal-oriented approach to evaluation and development. Learned allows employees and managers to easily exchange feedback, set goals and track progress in real time. This fosters a culture of transparency, open communication and continued growth within the organization. In addition, Learned provides advanced analytics and insights, allowing managers to make more informed decisions based on objective data.

In short, the evaluation interview need not be a stumbling block. With a continuous, focused approach and the right tools like Learned, organizations can take their performance management to the next level and create an environment where employees thrive and excel. Try Learned free for 14 days now and experience for yourself what these insights can do for your organization.

Learned UI showing employee performance and engagement in graphs

Explanatory image: Learned’s dashboard showing employee turnover, employee satisfaction, employee performance and other key insights.

Gratis downloads

Chart low and high performers with objective evaluations

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