Get Rid of the Performance Review!

My response to a Wall Street Journal Article on Performance Reviews by Samuel A. Culbert:

“This is not a performance review on you; it’s a performance review on us”.  A colleague and I discussed this type of performance review focus last January.  At my company, for the most part, supervision supervises union employees.  Who get paid according to the contract and get raises and bonuses according the contract.  So what good does a performance review do anyways?  It does absolutely no good at all when referring to pay or your relationship as a leader.  The idea is that it’s an opportunity to be one-on-one and fix current problems.  I’d start the process by stating, “I want you to think about the things I could do better, as a supervisor, to improve the quality and efficiencies at work”, then before the responses, I’d ask for insight.  What problems do you have?  What can we do better?  How can we improve the atmosphere at work?  Where could we save money?  Then once that session was over I’d ask for the response to the first question again. 

Samuel Culbert is right on with his article.  I agree that these standard performance reviews are a waste of time.  First of all, if you as a supervisor don’t already know your employees then you’re disconnected.  If you can’t represent an accurate opinion at any part of the year then you’re not engaged and probably not effective.  The job is to direct; that means to only steer capable, intelligent people in the right direction and give them the tools they need to succeed.  Besides that, talk about fishing and football, and get out of their way.   Goals are needed but performance is more a result of the system you’ve laid out than the review you give.  Great article.


One Response to Get Rid of the Performance Review!

  1. Heather Malson says:

    Well said.

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