How Often Should You Have Employee Reviews?

It’s almost an annual rite of passage: Employee review season. Whether you conduct these on a per-employee basis, on the anniversary of their joining your company, or at a designated point in the year, it’s something each employee, and each manager, probably kind of dreads, to some extent. Trying to remember all the work someone did in a year, whether they met their goals and expectations, and trying to determine where they should aim to go next; it’s all a lot of time. It might also make some question whether these annual reviews are worth it. 

And the answer might be no, but not for the reason you think. 

Here are a few things to think about when diving into employee review season:

Consider how long it takes to prepare.

This goes for both the manager and the employee. Some companies have a three-part review system, in which the employee fills out their self-evaluation, which is then reviewed by a manager who also provides their feedback, then the two will sit together to discuss the comments made and the progress and work from the past year. That could mean several hours’ worth of work for each individual employee review! Maybe there’s a better way. 

Consider how many projects are assigned and completed in a year.

Try to remember what you had for lunch two weeks ago Thursday. Can you do it? How about breakfast on June 15th? It’s hard to remember the little details, certainly, but it’s also difficult to keep track of everything your employees have taken on, accomplished and achieved in 12 calendar months. You might remember a particular highlight or difficulty, but they might remember two entirely different things, or have a long list to review with you (and it may or may not be 100% accurate). It can be challenging to both manager and employee to recount all the strengths and weaknesses, the highs and lows, that happen in a year. 

Consider what your employees want.

For many years, people accepted and anticipated a yearly review with their manager, if they worked for a company that did such things. Once a year was enough, because that’s just the way things were. Some older employees might still be content with that system. But younger employees, especially those who fall into the Millennial generation, are used to more communication and regular feedback on their performance and their concerns. They might like quarterly reviews instead of annual ones, as it provides more feedback basically in real time. It’s also easier to remember something that happened within three months — it’s easier to track things as a manager when you know you need to provide regular feedback on a shorter basis. 


Many employers are finding that biennial reviews, or quarterly reviews, are a more effective way to communicate with their employees and catch small problems or discrepancies before they become bigger headaches. Regular communication with employees is encouraged, of course, and helps to course correct when needed, and that can also help alleviate some of the stress that comes with reviews for employees. 

Ultimately you’ll need to determine what works best for your employees and your schedule, but this might be a great time to make a change! 

If you find it’s time to add to your team, or you need to replace some people who made a change in the new year, why not get started by working with Debbie’s Staffing? We have great candidates with the skills you’re looking for and they’re eager to get to work. Call Debbie’s Staffing today and let’s get started!