Why Employee Performance Reviews Are So Destructive
Yearly employee performance reviews do more harm than good, and that’s putting it politely. Just check out this NPR interview with UCLA management professor Samuel Culbert entitled, Behold the Entrenched and Reviled Annual Review.
Managers hate reviews because they have to scramble to pull together what little information they have about employee performance over the previous 12 months. Employees hate them because they are usually tied to compensation and promotion. That means stress leading up to the meeting and often disappointment afterwards.
We would love to see this archaic management process recede into the annals of business history. For now, they should at least be augmented by regular employee feedback. Candid feedback informs and improve annual reviews, and allows managers to respond to employee issues in real-time.
The world of business moves fast, which means that managers should communicate regularly with employees to realign them around goals and offer support. By holding employee evaluations only once or twice a year, many companies miss an opportunity to provide real-time feedback and influence performance. Neglecting regular check-ins with employees means that leaders are often unaware of the great ideas that can generate revenue, or the challenges that are preventing it.