Killing the Annual Performance Review – To Replace it With What?


There is an increasing outcry against the old-school annual performance appraisal. Media describes performance review as “a curse on corporate America,” ill-advised and bogus. According to Society for Human Resource Management, 95 percent of employees are dissatisfied with their company's appraisal process, and 90 percent don't believe the process provides accurate information. Even if we can all agree it is outdated, the jury is still out about the most impactful way to give feedback about performance. Some studies reveal rationale for finding alternatives to numerical ratings, while others show that rating in any form creates unproductive anxiety. Yet feedback from engagement surveys demonstrate that team members want to know where they stand and what they need to do to move ahead in their career. kCura, developers of the e-discovery software Relativity and one of the fastest growing tech companies in the U.S., decided to replace its annual appraisal process and embarked on an iterative journey to find the best way to provide timely, transparent and development-oriented performance coaching.
This session will cover kCura’s path from annual to monthly performance coaching and lessons learned. It will also include a practical recommendation for a critical mindset shift and three key management skills and tools to accomplish timely feedback, support for career development, and shared ownership for results. We will share our journey at a high level, the tenets of our design, the results of our pilot and the latest version of our performance coaching process.
You will learn:

  • Benefits and challenges of instituting performance coaching on monthly basis 
  • Specific lessons learned along the path from yearly to monthly performance coaching 
  • Three critical skills needed for managers to hold effective monthly conversations that meet both team member and organizational needs for better performance


Dorie Blesoff

Chief People Officer, kCura

Barry Rosen

President & CEO, Interaction Associates