Performance Reviews Are Dead

There are very few organizational activities that draw equal discomfort from managers and employees alike. Annual Performance Reviews (APRs) continue to be a challenging process for both parties. This process, often dreaded and dismissed as pointless, involves an employee sitting down with his or her supervisor or line manager to review their performance before being “rated.” The process is abhorred for a variety of reasons, including a view that the feedback is untimely and that there is no mechanism — or effort — year-on-year to act on anything in the review.

The Cornerstone OnDemand/Harris 2012 U.S. Employee Report showcased some startling and troubling findings:

  • 55% report that their APR is not a fair and accurate representation of their performance.
  • Approximately two-thirds (67%) indicate that there was surprising feedback in their review, which goes against all best practices.
  • Sadly, three-quarters of employees mention that they are not given any specific behavioural examples to support the feedback delivered.

Not surprisingly, considerable voices have joined the chorus to disband these unhelpful annual traditions. So what can we do differently?

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Craig Dowden

Written By

Craig Dowden & Associates is a firm focused on supporting clients in achieving leadership and organizational excellence by leveraging the science of peak performance. He is author of Do Good to Lead Well: The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership.


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