The annual performance review has long been a staple of performance management in the business world. However, in today’s rapidly evolving workplace, providing employees with the feedback and support they need to improve and grow is no longer enough. In the latest Voices of HR podcast, “Why Annual Reviews Are Not Enough,” our expert, John Smith, explores the limitations of annual performance reviews and offers insights on how to make the evaluation process more effective. 

There are many reasons why annual performance reviews fall short in today’s workplace. Smith notes that these reviews are often seen as a “check-the-box” exercise, lack constructive feedback, and fail to provide employees with the ongoing support they need to improve their performance. As annual reviews are often too far apart to provide timely feedback, employees are left with outdated information that is of little use in enhancing their performance.  

To overcome these limitations, organizations are encouraged to adopt a more iterative approach to performance management. This involves providing employees with ongoing feedback and coaching rather than waiting for an annual review. By providing regular feedback, managers can help employees identify areas where they need to improve and provide support and guidance to help them achieve their goals.  

Recent studies have also shown that employees want to be more involved in their evaluation process. Giving employees a voice in their evaluation makes them more likely to be engaged in the process and take ownership of their development. This can be done by setting clear goals and objectives and involving them in regular check-ins and feedback sessions. By leveraging technology, organizations can ensure a more data-driven and objective approach to performance management, which can help to reduce bias and improve overall fairness across the organization. 

Creating a culture of continuous performance management requires a shift in mindset from both managers and employees. It involves creating a safe and open environment for feedback and coaching, where employees feel comfortable sharing their challenges and receiving constructive input to improve. By implementing a continuous performance management strategy supported by technology and a culture of open communication, organizations can help drive employee growth and development, improve organizational agility, and ultimately achieve better business outcomes. 

This podcast offers a thought-provoking perspective on why annual reviews are insufficient and why a more continuous approach to performance management is essential is a wake-up call for organizations. By adopting a culture of continuous performance management, organizations can support their employees’ growth and development, leading to increased engagement, job satisfaction, and organizational performance.  

Stream now! This podcast is now available from:

Apple Podcasts

Thank you to  HRMorning: Powered by SuccessFuel and Berta Aldrich for welcoming emPerform’s John Smith to present in your Voices of HR podcast!


Align, Develop & Retain Top Talent with emPerform 

emPerform includes the tools needed to identify and engage high-performing teams. With online reviews, year-round goal tracking, ongoing feedback, pulse surveys & complete merit & bonus management – you can create a performance program that drives engagement & results.  

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When done correctly and effectively, employee performance reviews and good performance management processes can motivate staff, drive results, align the entire company, and improve success and morale. However, inconsistent performance reviews that are confusing, subjective, and open to bias can throw a wrench into the entire thing – making the review process a negative and de-motivating exercise and leaving the company with untrustworthy data to use for decision-making. 

Performance calibration is a process where tools that collect quantitative metrics are set up and analyzed effectively to portray accurate performance data across the enterprise. In most companies, this quantitative data is collected using performance reviews. Performance calibration helps employees by providing consistent, clear, and realistic performance expectations and effective, unbiased feedback and scores across all groups. Performance calibration also allows companies to feel assured they can trust the performance data collected and lean on it to make decisions regarding the performance health of their talent.  

In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in calibrating employee performance reviews effectively so you can augment what you might already be doing and ensure you have consistency in your reviews. 

Step #1 of Calibration: Establishing a Baseline & Threshold for Performance & Expectations

The first step in calibrating employee performance is to establish a baseline of performance. This can be done by setting expectations for what you want employees to achieve and then measuring their actual performance against these goals. It is important to note that this process should not be rushed, as it will take time for your company and leaders to set clear and actionable goals and for employees to adapt to the new standards. 

Once you have a baseline of performance, the next step is to establish thresholds. Thresholds are the minimum acceptable levels of performance that must be met for employees to continue working at your company or for teams and the organization to operate successfully. Establishing thresholds can be difficult, as they may vary depending on the role or position within the company. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of what is expected from each employee to maintain productivity and avoid confusion. 

Step #2 of Calibration: Create a Plan for Monitoring Results

After you have set goals and established thresholds, the next step is to create a plan for collecting and monitoring performance results. This plan should include the steps that will be taken to ensure employees are meeting their goals and staying within the acceptable threshold levels. The plan should also outline how often employee performance will be reviewed and assessed and who will be responsible for conducting these reviews. Finally, a large portion of this plan is to establish and agree to acceptable forms of measurement or rating scales that will allow you to monitor the status of goals and performance without being de-motivating to staff. See also, rating scale guidebook

After the plan is set, regular touchpoints should be conducted to ensure employees are aware of how they are performing and for employees and evaluators to adjust any goals or thresholds as needed. It is important to note that employee performance management should not be a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. By regularly measuring and calibrating employee performance, you can ensure that everyone in the company is working towards the same goal and meeting the same standards.

Step #3 of Calibration: Continuous Improvement

Once you have calibrated employee performance, it is important to continue to improve and refine the process. This can be done by setting new goals, establishing higher thresholds, or creating different plans for monitoring employee results. The goal is to make sure that employees are constantly challenged and striving to reach their fullest potential. 

Frequently Used Tools for Calibrating Employee Performance Reviews

There are a variety of tools that can be used to calibrate employee performance. The most common tool is the performance appraisal, which is a review of an employee’s job performance and typically takes place annually, with smaller checkpoints happening regularly throughout the year. Performance reviews should be crafted with content and tools to help avoid common appraisal biases that may result in performance reviews producing inaccurate results. It is useful for the company to decide on set goals, skills, or other performance criteria that will be used as a measure of performance, and invest in ensuring they are specific to each role, and defined clearly for employees.

While the most common tool for calibrating employee performance is the performance appraisal, it is important to note that this process should not be limited to this one method. There are a variety of tools that can be used to ensure all aspects of performance and output are being considered. 

360-degree assessments and peer feedback are also great tools for calibrating employee performance. With this type of multi-faceted input, employees receive additional feedback from peers, managers, and team members. This helps to get a more holistic view of employee performance and can help identify areas in which they need improvement. 

Finally, the nine-box is a tool that is often used to calibrate employee performance. This tool is used to assess employee potential relative to the company or a group and can help identify high-performing employees as well as those who may need additional development.

Through calibration, you can ensure that your employees are meeting the standards of your company and helping to achieve its goals and are also motivated to perform within realistic thresholds. By taking the time to establish a baseline, set thresholds, and create a plan for monitoring results, you can make sure that employee performance is accurately calibrated and everyone in the company is working towards the same goal. 

There is no question that performance management is changing, in fact, 84% of human resources professionals agree that the industry is rapidly altering its processes to suit current needs. With annual performance reviews and appraisals falling out of fashion, companies have begun to adapt by enabling more opportunities for open communication and providing regular feedback and coaching to their team members.

With these changing trends, it is vital for organizations to revisit how they assess, develop, and engage performance. According to a recent State of Performance Management Report, performance reviews and discussions are taking place remotely, and processes have become more digital and technology-oriented. With these changes in mind, organizations are stepping away from traditional and outdated processes, and transitioning to modernized and streamlined solutions.

Make a change for the better with emPerform. Our user-friendly, flexible & affordable standalone performance management solution contains the tools needed to automate all aspects of your performance management program. With our team of experts ready to guide you at every step, you can re-tool performance reviews and engage your entire workforce in ongoing & valuable and valuable performance discussions – from anywhere.

Watch the NEW tour video and explore the many tools and options available to you in emPerform for complete, automated & modern performance management.

Ready to make a change?

Contact us to see how we can help you transform performance management to better align, develop, engage & retain a world-class workforce.



The sun is shining – so should your talent! Summer is a great time to unwind, enjoy the weather, and take time off from work to relax with friends and family. What sounds better, right? Although many employees deserve the much-needed vacation days, businesses and HR teams still have to worry about meeting goals and hitting numbers. A research report quoted by Forbes shows that productivity can decline upwards of 20% during the summer months. But should businesses really worry? Absolutely not. If performance expectations and discussions are happening before, during, and after the summer months, there is no reason why businesses and employees can’t enjoy some care-free days in the summer sun. Read More

Why do high-performing employees matter to the success of your company? If you answer by saying they produce more, or process more units of work per hour or per day, that may be true. But it’s not the whole answer. Great performers don’t just crank out more widgets per minute or respond to emails faster than other employees. PyramidGreat performers actually lift the entire team by resetting standards of behavior and productivity and generating a ripple effect that can influence everyone in your workplace.

Here’s how. Read More

You may have your employee evaluation process carefully planned out, and you may be making excellent use of performance evaluation software (like emPerform) to keep employee goals and performance metrics on track. But without proper execution and follow up, your employees may not be walking away with all the tools they need for Oops! Roadsignsuccess. Are you making any of these common evaluation mistakes or skipping these steps during and after your review cycle? If so, your process might benefit from a closer look.

Here are some common mistakes evaluators make when conducting performance review meetings:

1. Ignoring self-evaluations. After your employees have gone to the trouble of completing self- evaluations, don’t just ignore this information during your meetings. Review the results carefully beforehand and use them to guide your conversation with Read More

“As a software company, it’s important for us to empower our employees by using the latest performance management technology. Our employees expect us to provide them with processes which are efficient and easy to use and emPerform delivers just that.” Angela Finlay, Director of HR— Geosoft Inc.

Geosoft LogoRanked as a Top 150 Technology Company1, and one of the Top Ten Best Workplaces in Canada2, Geosoft Inc. has always been focused on properly developing and engaging their highly-skilled global workforce.

In 2011, Geosoft decided that in order to better assess and develop their workforce, they would have to move from using broad level-based competency assessments to a more accurate job-specific functional competency model. In order to implement their new competency-assessment model using their current Word-based appraisal forms, they would have had to create and maintain over 80 unique forms – a task which would not have been realistic or feasible.

Geosoft decided the time was right to find a solution that could support their talent management vision and provide their workforce with a modern, easy to use performance management platform.  They began their search for a vendor and after evaluating four different platforms, selected CRG emPerform as their vendor of choice.  “After a closer look at software providers, Read More

Chairs sitting in a circleWe are pleased to announce the availability of version 4.4 of CRG emPerform. Among the list of enhancements and added functionality, this latest release offers integrated 360° performance reviews.

Using multiple perspectives to complete employee reviews is quickly becoming the standard for an effective performance management strategy. Managers often have a limited perspective when it comes to assessing employees and 360° feedback offers the ability to gain insight from people who work closely with one another to generate fair and accurate reviews that have value and can be used for decision making.

“We are pleased to offer this latest release to our customers,” said Anant Rege, our Chief Technical Officer. “We know that many of today’s businesses require more than just manager feedback in the performance appraisals process.   Managers and employees need a tool that enables ongoing feedback and a 360° account of performance and goals. This latest release adds that and more to a set of robust tools already present in emPerform.”

emPerform 360° review functionality is included with the software at no additional cost and enables:

  • Employee and/or manager 360° peer nomination
  • Status tracking of 360° reviews
  • Visibility of 360° results from inside appraisal forms
  • Automated email notifications for 360° reviewers and managers

Version 4.4 is currently available for upgrade to all emPerform customers.

For more information about emPerform, visit:

Download the Whitepaper: The Changing Face of 360° Reviews and Performance Feedback

Help Your Supervisors Become Performance Managers!

Company success is riding on how well your managers are able to assess, coach, and reward employee performance and development. Completing accurate reviews and ensuring year-round goal management, coaching, and feedback are carried out and documented can be kryptonite for even the best of the best.


What can HR do to help managers transform how they approach appraisals and coaching? It’s time to let emPerform step in and help!


  • Power Writing Assistance: All managers struggle at times to deliver the right comments and feedback in appraisals. With automated writing assistance tools built right into your performance management software, HR can swoop in with suggested content for managers to use to support their ratings.


  • Amazing 360° Vision: Without access to super-human vision and hearing, having an easy way to collect and use 360° peer feedback inside reviews is the best way to make sure supervisors have a true view of performance and are properly rating and rewarding employees.


  • Notes & Feedback in a Flash: Trying to remember a year’s worth of employee performance and documenting coaching & feedback is an enormous task for your company’s supervisors. Give managers a simple way to send and receive instant feedback and attach files and notes throughout the year – you’ll be surprised how accurate and fair assessments can be when managers are given this power.


  • Faster than a Speeding Bullet: Tired of reminding managers to get appraisals and compensation plans completed? The days of HR being the villain are over! With easy online access, automated email reminders and status dashboards, your software can work for you to keep managers and employees on-track and ensure appraisals are submitted on-time.


Give your managers the tools they need to take your performance appraisals soaring to new heights. emPerform comes standard with manager assistance tools as well as the features and functionality that your company needs to execute a winning talent strategy – all in one easy-to-use package.


Get Started! See how easy it can be to get powerful online appraisals and super manager assistance tools. Contact us to request pricing or to schedule a demo. 1.877.711.0367

ex employeeOne of your company managers is struggling with an under-performing worker, and so far, the manager has made all the right moves. The under-performance was addressed in the employee’s latest evaluation, coaching goals were set, and the manager has been following up on a regular basis. Every conversation has been documented, and HR has been kept in the loop at each step. But the manager’s efforts are not paying off. At this point, three warnings have been given, and it now looks like the employee will need to be dismissed.

Employee Performance Problems: Final Considerations before Termination Read More