performance evaluation

performance appraisals must die
Performance Appraisals Must Die
Performance Appraisals Must Die 1080 846 Jason Lauritsen

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.

As a result, 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 once explained 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 failing to let go is a mistake. And here’s why:

  1. Managers hate writing them. Even the best managers hate them, regardless of the form you use. They’re too much work for what managers get out of them.
  2. Employees 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.
  3. HR hates administering them.  It’s an enormous black hole of time and energy, and no one loves you for doing it.
  4. There’s no evidence that traditional performance appraisals have any impact on performance, good or bad.
  5. 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.

If these five things are true, it would seem that the solution would be to stop the insanity and pull the plug on performance appraisals.

Here’s what should happen if you do: managers and employees will both love you more. Your HR team will get back some time that can be invested in work that matters. Organizational performance won’t change and you’ll be better able to swiftly address employee performance issues.

Where’s the downside?



Jason Lauritsen