Give me feedback AND my rating, please !


  • “I want regular feedback and a clear rating. In my opinion, they don’t serve the same purpose”.
  • In the past few years, consensus has emerged that performance ratings are outdated. Does your oganisation still perform annual appraisals only, with maybe a mid-year discussion ? In this episode, find out how you can combine modern performance coaching approaches with a more classic program.
  • Feedback on an on-going basis is centered on the employee only, while a rating is a quick way of understanding “me vs others”.
  • Watch the video to get the full training, or read the transcript below.


When is the best time to communicate their performance rating to employees?

Why is “soft stuff” so hard really, at least to assess ?

Missing performance appraisals – quick fix and long-term approach

To do peer ranking or not to do peer ranking..?



Hello, everyone, and welcome to this episode of Compensation Insider. Today, I’d like to expand on a comment that I made on a poll that was posted at the end of March 2021 by my colleague Nisheeth Pathak.

The informal survey

His LinkedIn poll asked : “Just as we close out the appraisal season or prepare for it in Q2 in some companies, what is your preference as an employee?” with 3 choices for the answer :

  1. “No appraisal, leave me alone.”
  2. The second one was, “I want feedback, but I don’t want rating.”
  3. And the third one, “Give me a clear rating”.

It turned out that 45% of people wanted feedback, but no rating. And another 45% were people wanting a rating, but not necessarily feedback.

I made a comment that I want regular feedback AND a clear rating because, in my opinion, they don’t serve the same purpose.

We have seen a lot in terms of performance management in the last few years, saying that “Performance rating is outdated. What is it that we’re doing with those performance appraisals? Employees don’t like it, managers don’t like it, it’s a waste of time, we should give feedback on an ongoing basis”.

And I fully agree with that.

Feedback on an ongoing basis is excellent for growth and for the development of employees. It also helps to keep managers apprised of what’s going on in the employees’ professional lives and how the manager can give them support, resources or anything that they need in order to be successful. So this is really important.

Human beings need more than regular feedback on their performance

But we are human beings. And as human beings, we’re also governed by a certain number of things, and our behaviors are driven by subconscious factors.

As human beings, we always try to rationalize and understand the world around us, so we categorize, we compare all day long. Feedback on an ongoing basis is centered on the employee only :  “What am I doing right, what am I doing that I could improve, how can I improve ?”

Meanwhile a rating is a quick way of understanding “me versus others. How do I compare to others? How do I compare to the expectations with respect to my job?”. It’s not just an absolute feedback in terms of what I’m doing good or not so good. A rating is about how I am doing compared to the expectations and to others. It helps to satisfy a need that we have :  to understand our own position in a group, especially if that group has value to us.

Of course, at work the group has value to us because our coworkers are the people that we see every day in the office.

As a result, from an HR point of view, I think it’s really important to provide both continuous feedback and a rating.

Performance management, as a process, does not exist in a vacuum, and is linked to many other Talent activities

Additionally, so many talent management and compensation and reward processes are tied to some kind of a rating or ranking that is very, very difficult if we don’t have them.

If you think about it, eligibility for promotion is tied to a performance rating in many cases.

The amount of salary increase that we receive is often driven partially by our performance rating, as well as how we are paid compared to our peers.

The bonus or the incentive payment that we may receive often has an individual component which is most of the time tied with our performance rating as a proxy for the overall performance.

Without a performance rating, how do we do handle all of those ? It requires at least some serious

It’s not a question of “either one or the other”, I think it’s “both”.

It could be that you give a choice to the employees : the manager gives feedback on a regular basis. And then the company gives a choice for the employee on whether they want to know their rating or not, but still proceeds with the rating.

Just make it as transparent as possible, but for those who are not interested to know their rating, then don’t give it and focus on the continuous feedback only. For the employees who are interested in knowing both, give both to them because both forms of feedback (continuous and the rating) are going to drive other decisions in your organization and people deserve to know if they want to know.

This is what I wanted to highlight today. The evolution of how we approach performance appraisals and performance management is important. However, we shouldn’t give up everything that was done in the past because it’s all bad and terrible and awful, but rather, let’s evolve the system and incorporate the good from the new practices and keep what is needed from the old practices.

Thank you for reading, and if you have some point of view, please do share in the comments. I hope to see you next week in the next episode of Compensation Insider.

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