News  & Insights

Why are staff reviews important?

by Greg O’Shea

To most people, reading the heading of this blog will make them cringe – most are probably thinking why are staff reviews so painful? Why would I write a blog on it?

It is not because I enjoy pain or want to waste time! I was inspired to write it by a recent meeting I had with a client. He told me how a review changed his professional life.

We were discussing life-changing moments and he said that he owed the acceleration in his career to a former boss who gave him the “warts and all” in a review. Self-awareness is a fantastic attribute to have. We all have it at some level, however, having someone point out how we come across, interact with people and do our job with tangible examples can make a big difference.

The old saying, “positive thoughts, positive outcomes” may just be the mindset we need to have before doing/receiving a review. The positive can be seen as direct praise but also set in place areas that we need to focus on and develop. Accepting this feedback and taking ownership is essential for personal growth.

Going back to the client discussion, his boss essentially stripped him of all his pride and told him that he was doing a great job as a “bean counter” but lacked commercial insight. He was too focused on getting the numbers right than actually looking at the bigger picture and supporting the business. To get ahead he needed to work on his influencing and partnering skills – this would make or break him and was the ceiling on his career.

Naturally, the client was taken aback and had to pull himself off the floor. He did this and immediately set about developing the skills he needed to get ahead in his career. Through this example a number of things stood out to me:

  • His manager had the strength to tell him the truth and not just go through the motions.
  • The client was self-aware and could see his shortfalls.
  • The client took ownership for improving and working on a strategy to grow.
  • Both parties built a stronger relationship by having the tough chat.

I am still not thinking the enthusiasm for staff reviews has grown but the way I approach them will. Wouldn’t it be great to walk out of a review and know you have added value to someone’s career or had some insight into how you can grow as an individual?

If the mindset is right, defences are down and there is a genuine respect from both parties, then perhaps reviews can really work.

Do you think staff reviews are important?

If you are ready to improve the performance reviews at your company get in touch to discuss how to make your next employee performance reviews add value to your business and employees. 

 Click here to get in touch with our Executive Team

We would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or register to receive monthly via email.


Our mission is to prepare people to have better career conversations, to make great career decisions, to enable individuals and organisations to get the best return out of their relationship.