Employees Feel Uncomfortable During Performance Reviews

By Randstad | Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

According to 47 per cent of survey respondents, performance reviews are only conducted once a year. More than eight in 10 employees (87 per cent) said that their work performance is still being graded against a perfect score. 

As the working environment changes and working relationships become more informal, Randstad seeks to understand how the perception of performance reviews has changed and how feedback are being shared today.

Instant feedback is most valued by employees

Real-time feedback is finding its way into the office these days. It gives employees a chance to ask for new growth opportunities as they present themselves, or raise any red flags before it is too late.

Forty-nine per cent of the employers have adopted the use of real-time feedback to monitor work productivity and to share a response on how to improve using the context of a current situation.

More than seven in 10 respondents (72 per cent) said that they feel comfortable in giving and receiving feedback to their managers. 73 per cent said that they work in an open environment where feedback can be shared with each other, including their managers, at any time.

Despite working in an environment where real-time feedback is encouraged, 88 per cent of respondents still feel that performance review is a session that is used by the manager to give them feedback. In fact, 15 per cent of respondents felt that they do not have the opportunity to speak out about their career aspirations or concerns at work.

At my employer, we give our feedback via the following channels:



online survey


in writing on paper


employees are not asked for feedback




Feedback helps with collaboration but employees do not know how to react to them

Employees have mixed emotions towards both real-time feedback and scheduled job performance reviews.

People consider giving and receiving feedback as a positive thing, as it: 

1. helps them have a clear understanding of what they need to achieve and how to do it (60 per cent)

2. encourages open communication (49 per cent)

3. helps them learn and develop (45 per cent)

However, people do not look forward to receiving or giving feedback to their colleagues and managers, as they:

1. feel vulnerable (32 per cent)

2. do not know how to react (29 per cent)

3. feel uncomfortable (26 per cent)


The feedback that is shared between colleagues does not always need to highlight areas of improvement; it can also be recognising someone on the team for a job well done. The balance between sharing positive and negative feedback helps point the employees in the right direction of growth, motivate them to be more productive and collaborative, and promote employee loyalty.

The survey showed that 45 per cent of respondents said that their employers organise training on how to give and receive feedback. It is important for organisations to ensure its entire workforce knows how to share and receive constructive feedback both professionally and effectively, so that managers and employees can have a more meaningful and productive conversation.

It is also the manager’s responsibility to ensure their employees have the opportunity to contribute by sharing their own perspectives, the challenges they face at work and suggest the type of support that they will need from the company.

Annual performance review still a norm

Globally, 32 per cent of respondents said that their managers review their performance only once a year. Forty-seven per cent of respondents said that they still have regular annual performance reviews.

How often are performance reviews conducted?













‘Great Conversations’ was introduced to promote open conversations in Randstad 

The annual graded performance reviews at Randstad were fully replaced by ‘Great Conversations’ in 2018. Under the new practice, managers and employees engage in an open discussion to share and receive feedback on their work performance, as well as discuss opportunities for growth and the kind of support they hope to have. To facilitate these conversations, Randstad organises training sessions for all of its employees so that they would feel more comfortable and confident with receiving and giving feedback to each other.

Jos Schut, Global Chief Human Resource Officer at Randstad said, “We moved from the traditional backward-looking appraisal process to a future-oriented process using real-time feedback to make the conversations meaningful, aspirational and progress-focussed. This new approach made sure all of our employees have the opportunity to provide and receive frequent feedback to improve their performance, something the traditional appraisal process didn’t offer.”



Randstad is the global leader in the HR services industry, supporting people and organisations in realising their true potential.

appraisal process Career aspirations career milestone conversations employee confidence Employee Loyalty employers feedback environment changes Feedback future-oriented process growth opportunities instant feedback Job Market performance appraisals performance review real-time feedback work productivity

Related Posts