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How To Keep Employee Reviews Fair and Unbiased

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In recent years, we’ve definitely seen that the modern workspace has become a fast-paced, ever-changing environment with the pandemic-induced collective switch to hybrid and remote work. At times, these changes can feel like a challenging game of keeping up with the latest trends in order to secure success, while other changes feel like a natural transition.

This is how many managers feel about dreaded traditional employee performance reviews. Research has also confirmed that by stating that 53% of employees claim that performance appraisals don’t motivate them to work harder, and 63% of employees felt their reviews weren’t an accurate reflection of their performance. A study by Gallup found that only 14% strongly agreed with the statement that their performance reviews inspired them to improve.

Other studies on employee performance appraisal reliability and on how stressful they can be have confirmed that traditional employee appraisals are a thing of the past. As the newest emerging HR trend, say hello to continuous performance reviews and performance management software. Continuous performance management entails a continuous overview of an employee’s performance through ongoing feedback, one-on-one discussions, and regular check-ins.

Alongside software for employee monitoring, performance management software is becoming a staple tool for many successful enterprises. This tool is crucial for easy continuous performance management, as it enables managers to set both individual and team goals in alignment with company values, and motivates employees through the strategic development of their skills.

These performance management solutions usually include features such as performance tracking (against mutually established KPIs and OKRs), goal setting, reporting, real-time feedback, and so on. If you’re curious about switching to continuous management and assuring fair employee feedback, you’re at the right place to learn more.

Implementing Continuous Performance Appraisal

Changing performance management style isn’t easy, but luckily, transitioning to continuous performance management can be smoother with the help of digital technology. Of course, as a manager, you can choose a continuous performance management framework without implementing the software. However, this process would be more complicated and tedious without the help of performance management software.

Right now, there is an abundance of this type of software for all kinds of price points, with a lot of cost-efficient solutions available. Believe it or not, many companies have managed to reduce their administrative costs through the implementation of continuous performance appraisal software and software for employee monitoring.

The Importance Of Fair Reviews

Creating fair, ideally insightful, employee appraisals is much harder than it seems. Do you remember every single thing that you’ve done or achieved over the past year? Most employees and managers don’t either. This can lead to inaccurate and incomplete employee reviews that can potentially be harmful to the career of an employee.

Since we’re all just humans, it can get difficult, at times, not to overstep professional or personal boundaries, or to intermix them too much. When the lines between personal and professional judgment are blurred, reviews can often be unhelpful or unfair. These reviews can’t correctly reflect either employee performance or employee development.

Another human factor that can play a part in employee reviews is favoritism, even though this should never be acceptable in the workplace. Sadly, it’s undeniable that there still are instances where favoritism amongst managers occurs – creating a biased and stressful work environment for employees.

Data-driven Reviews

The feeling of organizational trust is of utmost importance since it’s seen as a key indicator of company success. To put it simply, an employee who feels like they aren’t being treated fairly won’t feel motivated to work, let alone improve their performance. So, how can you keep appraisals fair, unbiased, and even helpful in continuous performance management?

This is where technology steps in. These solutions don’t just keep employees responsible, productive and self-sufficient. They also allow for a unique insight into an employee’s overall performance through data. For example, through an employee tracking system, you can see the most accurate time tracking data and relevant productivity data (clock in and clock out time, how much time was spent on which website or project, or on any visited websites that were labeled as unproductive, etc.).

Data doesn’t lie, doesn’t forget and it doesn’t allow for feelings or bias – it’s solely about the employee, their work performance, and the development of their skills and abilities. When a performance appraisal is data-based, a manager can also much easier pinpoint and showcase areas that might need improvement, without adding any stress to the conversation. The data compiled from performance management software and software for employee monitoring is, therefore, extremely useful when creating performance reviews.

Businesses can have a better understanding of how their organization-level goals are being achieved and which areas can be improved through data gathered from employee performance. Apart from that, through this data, managers can identify high-potential employees or potentially harmful outliers with ease. A continuous flow of data brings more valuable insight than an annual employee review ever will.


Traditional evaluation practices can have potentially detrimental effects on an employee or even a whole organization. Studies have shown that continuous performance management shows the best results and creates a healthier, more holistic work environment while eliminating added stress for both parties.

In the end, it’s important to understand that each person is different, has different life experiences, and has different abilities. Good managers understand this. However, great managers (with the help of data) know how to use those differences to maximize employee potential and performance.

About the author


Vanja Zivkovic

Vanja Zivkovic is a content writer at Insightful with a particular interest in SaaS and improving the workspace through technology and information. She was born and raised in Rotterdam, educated in Belgrade and Iowa, and is currently living and working in Belgrade. Apart from writing about technology and how it transforms the world that we live in, she enjoys poetry, learning, and traveling.