This is one of my favorite short posts that I’ve written. I originally published it earlier this year as my corp HR team was working on solving the performance appraisal problem within our organization. I love talking about performance appraisals because of the angst that it creates for people. I’m perplexed why it seems so hard for organizations for to do the right thing and walk away from this craziness.
I’m hoping that more people will step forward to share an alternative, to reveal how they’ve found a better way. Because, make no mistake, there is a better way to manage and drive performance. And it doesn’t have anything to do with an appraisal.
Performance Appraisals must Die
Originally posted 3/9/11
As every other HR department has done before and will likely do again, my team is working on answering the question, “What should we do about our performance appraisals?” So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic lately. That means I’ve had my radar up for information and solutions about performance management. It seems to me that the performance appraisal is a perfect example of how Paul Hebert explains that HR is caught in the monkey trap. Letting go would set us free, but we just can’t seem to do it. I think that’s a mistake and here’s why.
- Managers hate writing them. Even the best managers hate them, regardless of the form you use. Too much work for what they get out of it.
- Employee hate receiving them. Regardless of how great of a manager you have, the process of the once a year sit down is riddled with anxiety and angst.
- HR hates administering them. It’s an enormous black hole of time and energy, and no one loves you for doing it.
- There is no evidence that traditional performance appraisals have any impact on performance, good or bad. At least I’ve not found anyone who has any data either way.
- Despite what some HR folks may argue, having annual performance appraisals usually makes it HARDER to terminate a low performer because most managers generally resist addressing performance issues within the appraisal itself.