New Study Uncovers Major Gap in Employee and Employer Expectations for Performance Management and Growth

Despite Widespread Dissatisfaction Among Workers, 94% of Execs Remain Confident in Current Review Process; Reflektive Research Finds ‘The Growth Divide’ Causes Disconnect, Hinders Business and Employee Success


LAS VEGAS/HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – April 4, 2018 – Reflektive, the real-time performance management cloud company, today announced the results of a new study that reveals a massive disconnect between employees’ and business leaders’ perspectives on the current state of performance feedback and management. Most notably, the widespread lack of real-time feedback and development causes friction and dissatisfaction, which hinders business and employee performance and growth.

The Growth Divide Study, conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Reflektive, found that while 94 percent of executives are confident that employees are satisfied with their company’s performance review process, the reality is most employees feel the process is outdated (61 percent) because it’s too generic (22 percent) or too infrequent (6 percent), and often incomplete (62 percent).

In fact, while nearly 70 percent of companies still cling to an annual or bi-annual performance review schedule, more than half of office professionals say that’s not nearly enough–they want performance check-ins at least once a month. Even more (94 percent) actually would prefer their manager address mistakes and development opportunities in real-time, which enables more agility through coaching and behavior changes to address skills gaps and shifting strategies.

“The Growth Divide Study clearly indicates an unmet need for employees, but also executives,” said Nathan Richter, senior partner at Wakefield Research. “The data provides a rare, quantifiable look into the drain traditional annual performance reviews put on managers’ time and energy, and consequently, the impact that has on employees’ ability to consistently be aware of areas they need to maintain or improve upon.”

The study quantifies the disconnect between employers’ and employees’ perspectives on performance management and growth, and uncovers the urgent need for employers to bridge the “growth divide.” Study results confirm that there is a significant gap between what business leaders believe is necessary to compete and grow market share and revenues with their business operations, and what employees believe is necessary to contribute, grow professionally and thrive with their career operations.

“The data from across many industries confirms what we’ve been innovating for since 2014: business performance and employee success hinges on real-time, ongoing feedback among leaders, managers, and employees,” said Rajeev Behera, CEO, Reflektive. “In the same way that overcoming the Digital Divide in prior decades was critical for widespread connectivity and prosperity, the ability to help bridge this new ‘Growth Divide’ with technology is a differentiator when it comes to continuous learning and development, goal alignment, employee performance, and growth.”

The gap is clear in the startling contrast between employees’ stated desires and employers’ delivery. For example:

    • More than half of office professionals want performance reviews or check-ins with their supervisor at least once a month, but 69 percent of executives say they still only conduct performance reviews or check-ins on an annual or biannual (twice a year) basis.
    • Over 90 percent of employees want their manager to address performance mistakes or development opportunities in real-time when they happen. But 67 percent of executives admit to removing negative feedback from employee evaluations because too much time had passed between the incident and the review for it to be relevant.
    • 68 percent of executives say they learn of employees’ concerns or issues for the first time during a performance evaluation, despite the fact that 86 percent of executives say their company would benefit from more frequent check-ins with employees.
    • Nearly half of employees don’t feel comfortable raising issues with their boss between formal performance reviews, but nearly three-quarters say they’d be more proactive in raising issues or concerns if they received more frequent feedback.

Equally as concerning are reported failures in the traditional performance review process. Employees frequently don’t know what they’ll be evaluated on. Fewer than one-third learned about performance measurement criteria when they started with the company, but most found out much later; 16 percent say they still don’t know.

Surprisingly, most executives don’t make conducting performance reviews a high priority: 58 percent frequently reschedule or delay employee reviews because they didn’t have enough time to prepare and end up spending an average of 15 hours of personal time preparing for an annual review. And, despite a wide range of digital tools available, 46 percent of executives say they still use hard copy written forms for reviews, a practice which is inefficient, creates more work, wastes paper and fails to meet the sophistication and sustainability expectations of today’s connected workforce.

Employees’ dissatisfaction with the infrequency, inefficiency, outdated process and lack of goal alignment in traditional review methods indicates unnecessary gaps–leaving valuable opportunities for improvement, growth, and achievement unaddressed, for both the company and its employees.

The Growth Divide Study was conducted through two online surveys of 500 executives and 2,000 office professionals in the U.S. during February through March 2018.

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About Reflektive
Reflektive is a leader in providing innovative, real-time performance management solutions for HR leaders and their agile organizations. Founded in 2014, Reflektive securely delivers Real-Time Feedback and Requests, Goal Management, Performance Reviews, and Check-Ins applications in the cloud for more than 400 clients worldwide including AAR, Blue Origin, Comcast, Dollar Shave Club, Healthgrades, Instacart, Wavemaker Global, and Protective Life. Based in San Francisco, Reflektive secured funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and TPG Growth and was recognized in Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors in Human Capital Management report. Reflektive’s mission is to reinvent people management processes to empower employees to thrive at work. For more information, visit

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Erick Mott

Nicole Paleologus, SSPR