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Companies stick with annual reviews despite workers saying they want more frequent feedback

Written on Aug 2, 2022

Half of workers surveyed reported they receive feedback only on an annual or semi-annual basis, according to a July 26 report by Eagle Hill Consulting. However, 63% of workers surveyed said they want more “in the moment” feedback on their performance. 

Employees working remotely or in hybrid arrangements were more likely to say that getting constructive feedback was a challenge; 38% of hybrid workers said getting feedback was a challenge, compared to 21% of fully remote workers and 19% of on-site workers. 

Younger workers were especially likely to state that they want more regular feedback, survey results showed. Feedback can also be important to helping workers feel valued; 82% of workers surveyed said they feel valued when someone takes time to provide feedback. 

Annual reviews can be a large time commitment for already harried managers, experts say, which has prompted many companies to rethink their processes entirely. Frequent feedback can also be made more personal and forward-looking, which can help companies achieve other goals and keep employees on board, experts said. 

This new survey makes clear that the proliferation of remote work may also require a shift in how the review process is conducted so that remote or hybrid workers don’t feel left out of opportunities. Employees working in person may have more ready access to resources and manager visibility compared to remote workers, according to a session at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2022 annual conference.  

The takeaway: managers will need to work hard to establish a virtual rapport with employees to avoid creating a “transactional” style relationship,. Tactics to do so may include follow-up huddles with direct reports following larger meetings and generally putting in effort to get to know team members.