Dear Colleagues!  This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #845 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans aims to share knowledge and wisdom from Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

Major objections on annual or semi-annual appraisal system may be summarized as follows.

  • Annual Performance Review is a review of the past; distant, or near. Most commonly the more recent examples are taken for discussion.
  • APR measures performance against a set of indicators which were set a year ago. It does not take into account changes which might have taken place in the corporate landscape over time.
  • APR does not view the incremental changes in the performance of employees.
  • APR divides the team members by making them compete against one another because performance appraisal is strictly individual.
  • Employees feel generally disillusioned and disengaged; in many cases they actually dread the time of APR.

These are enough indictments to consider dropping APR in favor of more recent trends.

Performance appraisal processes have evolved in response to changing workplace dynamics, employee expectations, and advancements in technology. Recent trends in performance appraisal reflect a shift towards more agile, continuous, and employee-centric approaches. The recent trends in performance review maybe broadly divided under the following heads.

Ongoing, Real Time Evaluation and Feedback

The most significant shift in performance management is that managers provide employees with regular, ongoing performance feedback rather than conducting annual or semi-annual reviews. Using protocols, such as regular check-ins and brief 1:1 meetings, managers can discuss performance issues at the moment and redirect behaviors before undesirable performance issues become ingrained and difficult to change.Organizations are encouraging ongoing conversations between managers and employees to provide feedback, set goals, and address performance issues promptly. This real-time feedback promotes agility and employee development.

Another trend under this head is to keep up with rapidly changing skill requirements. Companies are adopting regular skill assessments, and employees can identify skill gaps and create personalized development plans to enhance their capabilities.

Managers are being trained in providing effective feedback. This includes coaching on delivering constructive feedback, recognizing achievements, and fostering open communication.

Broader Scope of Review

180 degrees means that the managers and employees review one another’s performance. It is because managers are responsible for directing the actions of their direct reports, and the performance of an employees is also linked to the supervisory skills of the manager.

360-degree feedback involves collecting feedback from multiple sources, including peers, subordinates, and self-assessments, in addition to manager evaluations. This holistic approach provides a well-rounded view of an employee’s performance and encourages self-awareness. World leaders like Google and Facebook advocate this method of measurement.

Another aspect is not to remain limited to the goals set at the beginning of the year. The goals can be and should be adjusted as new challenges evolve, new technology arrives, market conditions change, or new projects start.

Technology Assisted Reviews

Organizations are leveraging data analytics to gain deeper insights into employee performance. They use data to identify trends, recognize high performers, and address areas that need improvement. Predictive analytics can also help in workforce planning.

With people analytics, one can dig deeper into the employee performance and take the guesswork out of developing performance management processes that maximize outcome of employees’ talents.

Technology can be put to much greater use in performance reviews compared to what it is now. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can help streamlining performance appraisal processes. They can analyze large datasets, identify trends, and provide managers with data-driven insights for more objective assessments.

Employee-Centric Approach

Performance appraisals are shifting towards being more employee centric. Employees have greater ownership of the process, can provide self-assessments, and actively participate in goal setting and career development discussions.

Performance appraisal processes are increasingly customized to fit individual employee needs and roles within the organization. Personalized development plans and feedback mechanisms are more prevalent.

As workplace mental health and well-being gain prominence, it’s crucial to integrate these aspects of performance appraisals. HR professionals must assess employees’ achievements alongside their emotional and psychological well-being. This holistic approach to performance evaluations cultivates a healthier, more productive work environment.

The days of using performance appraisals solely as a means to determine pay raises and promotions are fast going out. Instead, organizations should embrace a more forward-looking approach that prioritizes employee development and growth. This involves setting performance objectives that align with both the employee’s career goals and the company’s long-term strategy. By focusing on growth, HR professionals can help employees unlock their full potential and drive sustained success for the organization. Gallup reports that organizations emphasizing employee development during appraisals can witness employee engagement increase by 14%, workforce performance by 24%, and the proportion of high performers by 7%.

Organizations must recognize the importance of soft skills and behavioral competencies in addition to job-specific skills. Performance appraisals should include assessments of communication, teamwork, adaptability, and emotional intelligence.

Newer Methods of Appraisal May be Considered

Goal-oriented performance management is becoming increasingly popular. OKR – Objectives & Key Results has gained popularity, particularly due to its flexibility of making short term objectives and following their achievement. Employees and managers collaboratively set clear objectives and key results, making it easier to track progress and align individual goals with organizational objectives.

COVID forced remote work and performance appraisal processes were adapted to accommodate distributed teams. Virtual check-ins, remote feedback tools, and flexible performance metrics came in to address the specific needs related to remote work.

Some organizations are adopting hybrid approaches that combine elements of traditional annual appraisals with more continuous feedback and development-focused methods. This approach seeks to strike a balance between structured evaluations and ongoing conversations.

In summary, performance appraisal trends are moving away from traditional, rigid, and top-down approaches towards more flexible, employee-driven, and data-informed methods that prioritize growth, development, and agility. These trends reflect a broader shift in organizations’ approach to talent management, emphasizing the importance of ongoing feedback, skill development, and employee well-being.


Disclaimer: Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images and Pexels. Credit is given where known; some do not show copyright ownership. However, if a claim is lodged at any stage, we shall either mention the ownership clearly, or remove the picture with suitable regrets.


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