What is a performance development review?

A performance development review (PDR) is a regularly scheduled process where a person’s past and current performance is examined and evaluated. It can happen as frequently as once a month or as infrequently as once a year. PDRs, also known as PDR reviews, help ensure that your people have clearly set objectives, goals, and a plan in place for working toward them. In this way, PDRs are an essential part of employee development and performance management

Why should HR leaders care about performance development reviews?

When done successfully and regularly, performance development reviews can play an important role in employee development and the organization’s growth. PDRs provide a forum where people can speak with their managers about how they are doing and whether or not they need help with anything.

Through these conversations, employees and managers can communicate about corporate objectives, individual goals, career development opportunities, and employee performance. As a result, people can walk away feeling that their voices have been heard. If conducted successfully, people should clearly understand their performance and how best to progress in their career and contribute to company objectives.

What can HR leaders do to facilitate successful performance development reviews?

A standard performance development review is a one-on-one meeting. In the meeting, the employee and manager sit down to go over their answers to pre-determined questions about the employee’s performance, goals, and development. Some best practices for an effective meeting include:

  • Scheduling PDRs frequently enough that employees and managers can easily recall what they discussed in the previous meeting. At least twice a year is considered a good cadence, although some organizations find success in having PDRs as frequently as monthly.
  • Asking employees and managers to spend time before the meeting putting thoughtful consideration into their answers to the PDR questions so they can have productive, focused conversations.
  • Encouraging honest conversations where people can open up about any concerns they’ve been having or questions they want to address. Part of this requires more extensive work building a trusting and open company culture.
  • Ensuring the meeting ends with setting concrete, measurable goals for the person to work towards.
  • Coaching managers to allow employees to do most of the talking in PDR conversations.
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Why should performance development reviews be a part of the modern HR strategy?

There’s no denying that development is essential to your people: A whopping 94 percent of people report that they would stay at a company longer if it were to invest in their careers. 

Performance development reviews offer an opportunity for an organization to take an active role in employee development and provide them with the feedback they need. PDRs help people set goals so they can always keep growing. Not only that, but it allows managers to make sure their people are aligned with the organization’s values, needs, and objectives. That way, the individual employee and the company both benefit.