Get Rid of the Performance Review!

Samuel A. Colbert and Lawrence Rout recently released their book entitled, Get Rid of the Performance Review! 2010. Additionally, there was a write up in the WSJ on Friday May 21, 2010, on this book and “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” by Tony Schwartz with Jean Gomes and Catherine McCarthy, released in May 2010 – Free Press The reason I am quoting Colbert’s work here is because I believe that he’s right in what he has to say and as an OD professional if there is something that I could do to help change the mindset I would do so. From my own personal experience I have found the performance review to be frightful as well just because there seems to be an exaggeration of the truth or falsifying information. I think as managers and people we can do better. I truly wish that people would take into consideration the three levers by Buckingham and what great managers do (see enclosed document), to me if I could help managers see their employees through the eyes of the three levers I would be doing them more favors them what the performance review does today. Buckingham, M. (2005). What great managers do. Harvard Business Review, 83(3), 70-80 “It’s time to finally put the performance review out of its misery This corporate sham is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. Everybody does it, and almost everyone who was elevated it’s a pretentious, bogus practice that produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus. And yet few people want to kill it. How could that be? How could something so obviously destructive, so universally despised, continue to plague our workplaces? In part it’s because the performance review is all executives ever have known, and they’re blind to the damage caused by it. In part it’s because few managers are aware of their addiction to the fear that reviews create amongst staff, and too many lack the confidence that they can lead without that fear. In part it’s because HR professionals exploit the performance review to provide them a power base they don’t deserve. And it’s in part it’s because few people know an alternative for getting the control, accountability, and employee development that reviews supposedly produce-but never do. Don’t get me wrong: Reviewing performance is good; it should happen every day. But employees needed evaluations they can believe, not the fraudulent ones they receive. They need evaluations that are dictated by need, not at date on the calendar. They need valuations that make them strive to improve, not pretend they are perfect. In fact, if firms did nothing else but just kill off this process they’d immediately be better off. When it comes to performance reviews, there’s no question that nothing is better than something that’s how bad they are. The mission of this book is to put corporate executives on notice that they created a monster. With the help of performance reviews, they built a corporate culture where bullshit, not straight talk, is the communication etiquette of choice. The result is a managerial mess that they better deal with and fast(p 1 & 2).” Colbert, S. & Rout, L. (2010) Get rid of the performance review! NY, NY: Business Plus, Hachette Book Group.

Author Image

About Linda Savanauskas

An accomplished talent management professional with experience in curriculum design, development of learning strategies, and professional skills development training programs for the workplace. Collaboration in training programs includes small and medium size businesses (SMB) to larger organizations from Raleigh to Charlotte, North Carolina. Virtual instructor led training can be offered to any location.