I’m a huge fan of formal performance reviews. In my 10 years leading technology companies, I’ve come to see these exercises as invaluable.

When done right, they can change careers, take working relationships to the next level, and increase employees’ happiness and sense of purpose. They can engender empathy between employer and employee.


In an ideal world, employees would receive constant feedback on their performance and would, at any point in time, know what they do well, how they can leverage their strengths, and what they need to improve.

Managers would regularly meet with their direct reports to discuss how to support and adapt targets and projects to each employee’s ability and aspirations, professional and personal.

The HR department would use reviews as a way to identify career opportunities, training needs, and unique skills waiting to be applied to existing and future business challenges.