Yesterday I talked about annual reviews and how organisations can often get a simple process wrong, but are annual reviews immediately flawed due to their annual occurrence?

A year is a long time. A lot can happen in a year. I left a job, started a new job, got made redundant from the new job and then started freelancing all within a year. I hope you’re not as unlucky me to get made redundant, but maybe you move about a lot inside an organisation? What if you’re never in the same job for more than a couple of years. Does that make the annual review a redundant process?

In the UK there has been a rise in the last few years of self-employed workers and recently portfolio careers have proved to be popular with workers who want more of a variety in their career. The job for life is gone, so why are organisations still subjecting their workers to annual reviews?

Perhaps a more agile approach is needed with more frequent feedback. A year between reviews is too long, but what about quarterly reviews of your work with your line manager? How about monthly? At what point would your line manager know that you are enjoying your job and making a positive contribution to the company?

As a freelancer I have to continually look at my skill set and improve on areas that are rusty and also consider new programming languages and frameworks every few months. I have a core skill set that I am strong with but I also have to consider other skills if I want to make myself attractive to future clients. I give myself a review every month so that I know what work I have completed, whether I have completed it on time and what is in the pipeline ahead for me. I can afford to do this though as it is just me.

I’m just glad I don’t need to sit through anymore annual reviews for the foreseeable future.