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The fast paced, dynamic environment that makes SMBs so attractive to employees is also what prevents managers to give regular feedback to their employees. Yet regular feedback is probably the most important aspect of performance reviews, as those ongoing discussions are what will have the most positive impact on productivity in your business.
Companies such as GE, Accenture, Adobe and Deloitte have recently shifted away from annual performance reviews to an ongoing feedback model, for several reasons:
They are a chore, for managers and employees alike
One central conversation gets all the attention, when frequent, bite-size feedback is the most efficient
Worse, annual reviews tend to promote bad management.
Review this presentation to understand the new paradigm of performance appraisals, and its extended benefits to employee engagement and motivation (if you do it the right way).