Focal or Anniversary Review Date – Does It Matter?

As we approach the fall of the year, it is a good time to assess how your organization is performing and to review how you administer your employee performance evaluation process.

If you are like most companies you either do performance reviews on the anniversary of an employee’s last review or on a common date for all employees (typically called the common review date or focal review date).

Most companies are moving toward a common review date.  The literature indicates that over 80% of companies have moved away from the anniversary system.  There are pros and cons and the transition can be tedious but the advantages of a common review date outweigh the costs in my opinion.

A common review date allows for simple, more focused management of the process.  Business related performance periods rather than arbitrary anniversary based intervals are achieved and employee expectations are better managed.  Additionally, a focal review date gives an organization a sense of measurement and accomplishment with regard to specific objectives.  Management can evaluate success during a specific time period and communicate common time-based objectives for all employees, thus leading to shared objectives for the entire organization.

I ran into a good summary of the pros and cons as well as conversion methodology.   In addition to this information, HRInsights can help you customize the transition plan that best fits your culture.

Whichever you choose, make sure you are diligent, thoughtful and timely.

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