The following is a guest piece by former Disney executive Ken Goldstein.
I don’t like performance reviews. I never liked giving them, and I never liked getting them. They are like school report cards, only less well-meaning and more poorly formed. They make the workplace more political, needlessly enforcing nerve-wracking centers of power. They serve a legal function much more than a creative function. They don’t make products better and they don’t serve customer needs.
They are obligatory, perfunctory, dreaded time sucks for both giver and receiver, putting a check mark in an annual rite of passage that is largely ignored until the Earth completes another full orbit around the Sun.
On the other hand, I love feedback – really good, thoughtful, useful, timely, focused feedback. I love to give it and I love to get it as part of a regular routine. No check boxes, no check marks.
Feedback, sometimes known as coaching, requires relevant substance to have impact. It needs to center on step by step improvement in how an individual is doing against goals, how a team is advancing by virtue of an individual’s progress, how innovation is being served by attitudes and decisions on a daily basis, and how an individual’s achievements are translated into outcomes valued by an employer.
I don’t believe anyone can effectively coach, empower, and bolster an individual’s workplace contributions sitting down once a year and filtering a list of positive and negative attributes. The best you can hope for is polite-speak that doesn’t upset anyone too much – unless you are marching someone to the door – and the worst you can muster is demoralization that shuts down all future hope of trust and collaboration.
Here are three thumbnail cases against performance reviews that you should find terrifying. Click here to continue reading »”Why Leaders Need To Stop Using Performance Reviews”