The Pointless Performance Review Process

Written by All Elements

Published on Jan 21, 2016

Every year most employees in corporations go through a time-consuming exercise that increases their stress level and is generally counter-productive. Interestingly enough, the stress is not usually caused by unreasonable or unattainable project milestones. Rather, the  stress is more often accumulated from the laborious self assessment process of documenting, submitting, and reviewing their performance for that year. Is this time well spent?

Take this memory test

In most companies, employees are given three to four weeks to document their contributions from the past 12 months. I don’t know about you, but I’d be very happy if I remembered what I did in the last 12 weeks. Typically, the enterprise performance review tools forced upon employees are  unintuitive, boring, and ruthlessly disengages employees. Unless an employee sets aside an awful lot of time to document their work, he or she is not going to do a good job in adequately highlighting their contributions and accomplishments.

I’m your new manager!

Now add to this mix a change in management during the year. Your ’new manager’ has no clue about your past, you’re trying to make a good impression, and now you have to start all over again and make a case for yourself. Great!  Shouldn’t companies begin to take serious note of this and start putting a strategy together to do things efficiently?

Think about it for a second …

If you are a manager or an executive reading this blog, let me ask you a question. Why would you wait till the end of the year to tell your employee if he or she is doing a good job or not? This may have worked in the past, but not anymore. Whether you like it or not, the next generation of professionals are looking for instant feedback. If you make them wait for a year to tell them how good (or bad) they are, you are soon going to have serious problems attracting and retaining talent.

It’s not pretty on either side

In my 20+ years of corporate experience, I have sat on both sides of the table – as an employee and as a manager. I have seldom seen this process motivate people to work better. It just doesn’t work! This article published in Bloomberg Businessweek almost four years ago is still relevant.

So what is the solution? Part two of this blog is getting ready.


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