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TEKsystems Survey: 93% of IT Professionals Say Informal Feedback is Critical to Success; Less Than Half Say Current Feedback is Better Than Fair

Oct 31, 2012 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

HANOVER, Md. – October 31, 2012 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released new research showing that an overwhelming 93% of IT Professionals say that informal feedback is critical to their success while less than half (44% of IT Professionals and 49% of IT Leaders) rate feedback within their own company as excellent or good.

More than 2,000 IT Professionals and 1,500 IT Leaders were polled in September to understand the current state of performance management programs and to identify critical areas that need improvement. The full results of the survey are available from TEKsystems upon request.

Other key highlights from the survey include:

  • While respondents cited clarifying expectations as the most important goal for successful performance management programs, only 10% of IT Professionals and seven percent of IT Leaders say that performance expectations are always clearly defined. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of IT Professionals report that performance expectations are rarely or never clearly defined.

  • 24% of IT Leaders completely disagree with the statement that “managers in my organization are great at performance management.”

  • Less than half of IT Professionals and IT Leaders agree that their company’s performance management system “plays a highly effective role in driving employee performance.”

  • Only 39% of IT Professionals and 46% of IT Leaders agree that poor performance is effectively addressed at their organization.

  • Nearly 50% of respondents indicate that poor performance normally goes unaddressed for 90 days or longer with 33% of all respondents citing this delay as the biggest reason poor performance is not addressed effectively at their organization.

  • There is a discrepancy of perception with 62% of IT Leaders agreeing that great performance is effectively addressed at their organization while only 43% of IT professionals say that is the case.

Importance of Performance Management
For performance management to be effective, clear goals, expectations and processes need to be set. IT Professionals and IT Leaders rank clarifying expectations, coaching/mentoring and aligning employee actions with strategic business objectives as the top three goals of a performance management program.

Ultimately, feedback is essential to clarifying expectations between IT Leaders and their employees. In fact, 93% of IT Professionals say regular, high-quality, informal feedback is very important to achieving success in their role – 49% say it is extremely important.

“The goal of performance management is to take lessons learned and use them to help an individual, or team, improve. Failing to deliver feedback more regularly than quarterly or annual reviews hinders the effectiveness of a performance management program,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell. “Formal reviews are very necessary, but informal feedback is more personal and can be absorbed much more easily because it tends to revolve around a specific, timely issue that deserves recognition or pause for learning and growth.”

Performance Management Programs Need Improvement
Addressing poor and recognizing great performance are equally critical when improving overall employee performance. However, most IT Professionals and IT Leaders feel their organizations do not address either type of performance effectively. Only about 10% completely agree that poor performance is effectively addressed. The same percentage of respondents completely agrees that great performance is effectively addressed.

“If performance management systems are only effective about half of the time, then they really aren’t working too well. Failing to handle poor performance can cause team conflicts, reduce morale and produce lower quality results,” states Russell. “On the other hand, taking the time to recognize an individual or team when they do excellent work promotes confidence, builds trust and motivates high performers to help the business succeed. In order to fix these problems, organizations need to first address the fundamental issues with their performance management system before any significant progress can be made.”

TEKsystems' Rachel Russell is available for additional commentary. Please contact Paul Roberts ( to schedule an interview. For more information about the survey including a white paper and executive summary, please contact

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.