New performance-review techniques challenge traditional norms 

Do these new techniques really enhance employee engagement and self-awareness more than traditional reviews?


It is time to do away with the traditional methods of evaluating and providing feedback to employees. These outdated ways have long been criticised for being rigid, subjective, and often ineffective in promoting growth and development. Employers today are increasingly turning to innovative techniques of self-assessment, peer assessment, strengths-based reviews, and AI-powered assessments to enhance the whole performance-review process and experience.

“Technology and AI can analyse vast amounts of historical data to draw insights from numerous data points, contributing to a more informed assessment”

Sunil Ranjhan, senior advisor, LG Electronics


AI-powered assessments 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has brought a data-driven revolution to performance reviews. Assessments powered by AI utilise algorithms and data analytics to evaluate employee performance objectively. These systems analyse a vast amount of data, including project outcomes, task completion, and collaboration patterns, to provide a comprehensive view of an employee’s contributions.

According to Gautam Srivastava, director and head – HR, The Phoenix Mill, these innovative approaches, such as strengths-based reviews, peer assessment approaches, and more, are gaining traction due to their tech-driven landscape and the active engagement they foster among employees.

He says, “They provide data-driven insights that reduce bias and subjectivity, making them appealing. However, excessive self-assessment can sometimes lead to overly critical self-perceptions and biases. Strength-based reviews may overlook areas for improvement, whereas AI-powered assessments, while sharp, raise concerns about data privacy and dehumanisation.”

However, Pandey also mentions that there are potential drawbacks, such as subjectivity in peer assessment and the possibility of individuals overlooking their areas for improvement.

“While technology, especially AI, can enhance data analysis and visualisation, it shouldn’t replace meaningful one-on-one interactions between people. It’s important not to lose sight of the human element in the pursuit of technological advancement in performance reviews,” emphasises Pandey.

Sunil Ranjhan, senior advisor, LG Electronics, believes, “Technology and AI can analyse vast amounts of historical data to draw insights from numerous data points, contributing to a more informed assessment. It has the potential to reduce biases associated with human evaluations. As AI evolves, it will become even more intelligent and effective in providing objective assessments.”  

“Strength-based reviews may overlook areas for improvement, whereas AI-powered assessments, while sharp, raise concerns about data privacy and dehumanisation”

Gautam Srivastava, director and head – HR, The Phoenix Mill


Self assessment has become even more important and an integral part of the workforce. It is a technique that empowers employees to evaluate their own performance and set goals for improvement. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among employees.

The technique has been used in various forms for a long time now. However, it has gained more attention and popularity in recent years as organisations seek innovative and more effective ways to evaluate and develop employee performance.

Self-assessment in today’s workforce has undergone a remarkable transformation, driven by technological advancements and changing work dynamics. Innovative tools and platforms, powered by AI and data analytics, offer employees a more engaging and personalised self-assessment experience. These tools provide real-time feedback, facilitate 360-degree assessments, and generate tailored development plans, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Essentially, with the rise of remote work and a shift towards frequent feedback, self-assessment has become an integral part of professional growth and organisational development, helping individuals and companies thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of work.

Pradyumna Pandey, HR head, manufacturing, Hero MotoCorp, suggests that AI-powered assessments, self assessments, and peer assessments all mark a significant departure from the hierarchical nature of traditional performance appraisals, placing greater emphasis on employee empowerment and centrality.

Ranjhan shares that self-appraisal allows employees the chance to discuss their achievements and capabilities. It starts with employees evaluating themselves and then moves to supervisors’ assessments. This process helps employees articulate their accomplishments for their supervisors’ evaluation.

He further adds, “About a decade ago, the concept of 360-degree assessments emerged. In this system, employees rate themselves, and their peers and juniors also provide feedback. While this concept emerged some time ago, it took a while for organisations to fully adopt it. Now, it’s being used as a systematic data source for final assessments. Multiple data points are crucial for making fair evaluations and reducing biases like favouritism or stereotyping. The more data points you have, the more reliable and acceptable the final assessment becomes.”

Peer assessment 

Peer assessment involves colleagues providing feedback on each other’s performance. This approach harnesses the collective insight of team members who work closely together. Peers can offer a unique perspective on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, often highlighting qualities that may go unnoticed by managers.

“The innovation lies in their focus on employee development and perspective. Today, self-assessment, in particular, engages employees actively in reflecting on their past and fostering their own growth”

Pradyumna Pandey, HR head, manufacturing, Hero MotoCorp

The assessors compare and integrate ratings with their own assessments and other performance data, identifying patterns and discrepancies. Second, they promptly and constructively discuss these ratings with their employees, acknowledging strengths and areas for improvement. They listen to their perspectives and address any issues that may exist. Third, employees use these ratings as a basis for setting goals and development plans, helping them identify priorities and resources. Progress is monitored, feedback is provided, and achievements are recognised continuously.

Pandey points out that these approaches also provide a more holistic view of performance, involving input not only from supervisors but also from colleagues and stakeholders.

Strengths-based reviews 

Traditional performance reviews tend to focus on weaknesses and areas for improvement. Strengths-based reviews, on the other hand, centre around identifying and leveraging an employee’s strengths. This approach recognises that individuals excel when they operate in areas where they are naturally talented and passionate. By emphasising strengths, organisations can maximise the potential of their employees, resulting in higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and enhanced overall performance.

Ethical considerations

While these innovative techniques offer numerous advantages, they also raise important ethical considerations. Assessments powered by AI, for instance, must address concerns related to data privacy, algorithmic bias, and employee trust. Organisations using self-assessment and peer assessment must ensure that employees receive adequate training and guidance to provide constructive feedback and self-evaluate effectively.

Innovative techniques such as self-assessment, peer assessment, strengths-based reviews, and AI-powered assessments are reshaping the landscape of performance reviews. These approaches empower employees, leverage collective insights, promote a positive focus on strengths, and provide data-driven insights that enhance the accuracy and fairness of evaluations. However, they also come with ethical responsibilities that organisations must address to ensure the effectiveness and fairness of these methods.

Srivastava enunciates, “To strike a balance, it’s essential to consider a holistic evaluation that blends innovation with the human dimension, potentially integrating them with traditional performance reviews for a more comprehensive approach.”

As organisations continue to adapt to evolving workplace dynamics, embracing these innovative performance-review techniques can lead to a more engaged, motivated, and high-performing workforce, ultimately contributing to the success of the organisation as a whole.

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