When it comes to performance management, you can decide on an annual, biannual or quarterly review with dossiers, spreadsheets, interviews, and the works! This is the traditional form of performance management, though once tried and trusted once, is now outdated.

Performance management is not a difficult process. At least, it’s not meant to be. However, the dread of filing documents and waiting for the axe to drop during an annual review can be a little overwhelming. What if an employee’s files went missing? What if the manager forgets something vital? Many uncertainties surround these old performance management models, and we shall look at a few reasons why the old ways don’t work anymore:



Papers, file cabinets, folders and spreadsheets. The classic performance management tools.

They waste your time and put you at risk. They are not secure and can cause losses running into millions when destroyed or tampered with. These filing systems also raise compliance and data privacy issues and are lawsuits waiting to happen. 


If time is money, then the time spent on traditional performance management models would run into hundreds of thousands. In fact, before it reviewed its performance management system, managers at global software business Adobe spent over 80,000 hours per year on typical performance appraisals!

Gallup estimates that in a large organisation of up to 10,000 employees, this lost time can cost as much as $2.4-$35 million per year

Recency Bias and Lack of Feedback

Annual reviews often show bias because the focus is often on employee performance leading up to the review instead of employee performance from the start of the fiscal year, lowering employee morale and increasing employee turnover. 

Another disadvantage lies in the tedious nature of the outdated tools used for these reviews. Many annual reviews end with a form in a dossier or in a spreadsheet. Either way, these modes of storage make it challenging to access historical data. Without access to previous reviews, managers cannot make well-informed decisions on employee performance or business objectives.

Environmental Impact

A Record Nations study showed that 45% of paper printed in offices is trashed by the end of the day. And this is an average day. Imagine the tons of paper wasted on performance management forms that’d likely be unusable in a few months. The environmental impact of excessive paper use is a disadvantage African companies may not consider. However, we have a duty to protect the earth. 

Organisations are rejecting the old systems and embracing better performance management processes. In 2015, several Fortune 500 companies ditched years-old performance management traditions in drastic reforms to adopt performance management software like SeamlessPerformance.