It’s Time for Painless Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are like the weather, everyone talks about them, but until recently, it seemed that HR didn’t want to do anything about them. The grumbling across Corporate America grew so loud in 2011, that HR could no longer ignore the problem. Although the issues surrounding the traditional practices are easy to identify, revising the process can be difficult.

Here’s a list of the most common ills plaguing performance reviews along with some innovative solutions.

  • Bomb shell syndrome

Employees are shocked to hear that they aren’t meeting expectations during their annual performance review, because managers are too busy to schedule interim sessions or offer timely and consistent feedback throughout the year. At Facebook, managers and employees use Rypple to offer comments after meetings and presentations. While online feedback may seem a bit impersonal, employees can use the messages as a barometer to gauge their performance and it only takes a few seconds for managers to express their thoughts.

  • Term paper syndrome

Reviews are often pushed to the back burner because the process is cumbersome and requires employees and managers to fill out reams of paperwork. While some companies are trying to resolve this problem by moving reviews online, others are using social media to convey group goals and provide timely status updates. The process is gaining traction as employees increasingly work in teams.

  • Rear view mirror syndrome

It’s hard to remember what happened yesterday let alone 12 months ago, and performance reviews are not supposed to dwell on the past but provide a framework for improving future performance. Yet, most reviews use 360 feedback to evaluate prior achievements and shortfalls, especially when annual reviews are tied to raises and bonuses. Behavioral 360s can be more beneficial than performance 360s because they focus on behavioral change that will improve future performance instead of what happened in the past.

What are you doing to solve the performance review dilemma?

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Comments

One Response to “It’s Time for Painless Performance Reviews”

January 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm, Michael Sleap said:

Leslie you make some good points about what is wrong with performance reviews. My view is that the bad performance review is just a symptom of poor day to day leadership. When effective year round performance management is done well there is still a place for a performance review discussion.

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