This week, we take another look at why annual reviews can be unhelpful, explore whether employee engagement is just a reflection of people’s personalities, share why you should be setting slightly harder goals for your team, and hear from one author about how internal movement is the ultimate development tool.

This week’s growth quote:

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
– Sir Richard Branson

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The 5 Problems With Annual Reviews and How to Fix Them

Betterworks

If developing a motivated workforce is key to staying competitive, you wouldn’t guess it by the engagement numbers. Fewer than one third of employees feel motivated and annual reviews may be to blame. They cause anxiety, they’re subjective, they’re infrequent, they’re ineffective – and there is a better way of doing things.

Is Employee Engagement Just a Reflection of Personality?

Harvard Business Review

Employee engagement leads to higher levels of job performance, creativity, and productivity. But what can cause one person to feel energized by their job can lead others to despair, and well-known environmental factors may conceal the interplay of personal character traits. Which raises the question: How much of engagement is really just people’s personalities?

Why You Should Stop Setting Easy Goals

Harvard Business Review

As anyone who’s ever added an item that has already been completed to their checklist just to cross it off knows, rewarding yourself is fun. But researchers have found that managers can motivate teams with a similar bit of mental trickery. In one study, participants who were told to improve upon their past performance were more likely to achieve their goals than those told to maintain the status quo, for an intriguing reason.

Internal Movement – The Ultimate Productivity, Development, and Retention Tool

TLNT

Internal hires ranked highest in performance, according to a study by Jobvite. They already know the business, and they get the training, development, recognition, and change of employees who stay put often want for, writes Dr. John Sullivan, an author and HR advisor. So why isn’t the internal hire taken more seriously?

Ready to turbocharge your performance management? Check out our brand-new Ultimate Guide to Utilizing OKRs Within Continuous Performance Management, featuring tips and strategies from NY Times bestselling author John Doerr.

If you missed the last recap, read it here: Feedback Muscles, Secrets of a COO, and HR in 2025