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Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews

How does your company handle performance reviews?

Dan McCarthy | Great Leadership

May 27, 2010

There’s been a lot of buzz the last few weeks around the topic of performance reviews. Much of it has re-surfaced as a result of a recent New York Times article by Tara Parker-Pope about the mental health risks of performance reviews.

She quotes UCLA Professor Samuel Culbert, who wrote the book “Get Rid of the Performance Review” and the October 20th 2008 Wall Street Journal article with the same title.

Both of the articles are interesting reads, and make compelling arguments. However, neither are the first to suggest the notion of getting rid of performance reviews. There was a book called “Abolishing Performance Appraisals”written back in 2000, and Deming called out the practice as one of his “7 Deadly Diseases” backing the early 1980s.

I’ve even heard that there was an ancient secret society formed within the Catholic Church whose mission it was to wipe out performance reviews. Look for the upcoming book by Dan Brown and the movie with Tom Hanks.

I’ve already written a couple posts about the topic. One of my all-time favorite posts (albeit perhaps overly cynical) I ever wrote was back in January 2008, called “10 Ways to Screw up a Performance Appraisal”.

I followed up that up with a much more constructive, but still snarky posted called "A No Bull- #$%! Performance Review Process”.

If you read both posts, you’ll get a good idea where I stand on the issue. I hope I’ve offered an alternative that makes sense, as opposed to just whining about it.

Since I’ve written those posts, I’ve thought about the topic of performance reviews some more, and for the most part, I’m still in the same place. Here are my latest 10 completely unscientific and biased opinions on performance reviews:

Next: Managers Hate Performance Reviews >>


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