Performance reviews not dead yet

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pen_display_accomplished_1600_wht_7579Many experts believe that performance reviews don’t work, that managers and staff play the system, and that people should be trusted to get on with their jobs.

Performance reviews are  held to be a product of Theory X  thinking (and all that went with that) and were famously criticised by quality guru Deming who said “The fact is that the system that people work in and the interaction with people may account for 90 or 95 percent of performance

New research from CEB (reported in People Management) suggests that HR people are in agreement. Only 4% of them felt that performance reviews were effective.

And 42% of the 9,000 managers and employees surveyed across 18 countries said that “significant changes or a complete redesign was needed to improve their existing performance review processes” which were branded ‘backward-looking, inconsistent, and too complex‘.

There is a problem however. Ditching performance reviews can have a negative effect on productivity as Microsoft found. The survey also found that not only did productivity drop by 10% but that employees were more likely to leave and fewer employees thought pay rises were fairly allocated.

Less than 5% of managers said they felt able to manage effectively without a rating system. 

The survey doesn’t say what was used to replace performance reviews but poor as performance review methods might be it appears that many staff and managers like a degree of structure no matter how unreliable.


3 thoughts on “Performance reviews not dead yet

    kindadukish said:
    July 6, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Performance reviews are a complete and utter waste of time, demeaning to both managers and staff and a waste of useful work time. Any manager who says they can’t operate without a rating system should not hold a management position. Time we stopped listening to psychologists and learned to trust each other! People do not go to work to do a bad job, so stop putting barriers in front of them. They are adults who lead complex lives, bring up families, make complex decisions, so why the hell treat them like children?

    […] systems meaning that individuals were not held accountable for their productivity levels. Well appraisal systems have come in for a lot of criticism lately and in this case it suggests that it might be management […]

    […] University analysed performance reviews in technology forms and found that women’s evaluations contained almost twice as much […]

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