Yep, talking about the annual performance review.
It’s Coming Up. How Do You Feel About It?
Studies show that not only do employees generally dislike this exercise but so do managers and even the HR department. Time for some disruption – ya think?
The Perils and Perturbations of the Performance Review
There’s some great reading on the perils and perturbations of the performance review. As a recap, they tend to pit people against each other, and they are predominantly backward looking – two things no company ought to be focusing on at the detriment of building collaboration and communication, making forward-looking plans, and retaining top talent. These are some recommended reports/articles:
By Yuki Noguchi
“Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation. Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.”
By Samuel A. Culbert
“You can call me “dense,” you can call me “iconoclastic,” but I see nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review. It’s a mainstream practice that has baffled me for years. To my way of thinking, a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense.”
An Alternate Strategy: Cultivating and rewarding passion and engagement
So since performance management is important, but performance reviews aren’t creating the passionate and engaged people you want in your company, what is the answer?
Companies are trying different approaches. Here are some that might be of interest to you:
Juniper Networks replaced the performance review with a “conversation day” that has achieved a record 93% participation, and 66% of participants found it “helpful” or “extremely helpful”. The semi-annual conversation day has employees and managers sit down to discuss areas for improvement and opportunities for new growth, set goals aligned with employees’ career aspirations. And importantly, there are no rankings and ratings associated with performance measurement. One of the positive results is that Juniper retains more top performers now.
By Drake Baer
“When Donna Morris joined Adobe in 2002 as a senior director of global talent management, she noticed that the annual performance review, such a central part of the human resources job she had been hired to do, wasn’t much of a resource to the humans it served.”
By Steve Rogalsky
“A refreshing discussion of what can be influenced and how much can’t by individual performance, and how to elicit it. An experiment with a conversation aimed at pulling out the performance goals of employees by having a conversation and asking: What are you proud of? What do you want to learn or improve this year? What part of our team’s system is preventing you from doing your job better? What should we improve or change? How is the company enabling or inhibiting you from achieving your best? What do you need from me? How can I help?”
By Josh Patrick
“Instead of one annual review, I suggest setting up regular, one-on-one coaching sessions with your direct reports. The sessions should run from 15 to 45 minutes and should be held every three to four weeks. The goal is to have a continuing conversation aimed at helping employees become great at what they do.”
What do you think?
What kind of performance review does your company use?
Do you like it?
What would you choose to use if you had the choice?
If you think there’s a better way, share this!