Get Rid of the Performance Review

Get Rid of the Performance Review! by Samuel Culbert

To make my case, I offer seven reasons why I find performance reviews ill-advised and bogus.

Inevitably reviews are political and subjective, and create schisms in boss-employee relationships. The link between pay and performance is tenuous at best. And the notion of objectivity is absurd; people who switch jobs often get much different evaluations from their new bosses.

Raises are then determined by the boss, and the boss’s boss, largely as a result of the marketplace or the budget. The performance review is simply the place where the boss comes up with a story to justify the predetermined pay.

Managers can talk until they are blue in the face about the importance of positive team play at every level of the organization, but the team play that’s most critical to ensuring that an organization runs effectively is the one-on-one relationship between a boss and each of his or her subordinates. The performance review undermines that relationship.

As I have said numerous times, I agree with Deming that management by performance appraisals doesn’t work. Most people seem to realize they are fake, cause harm, and do little if any good. But they continue to act as though it is impossible to stop activities that cause harm and provide no significant benefit.

Related: Righter Performance AppraisalPerformance without AppraisalDeming and Performance AppraisalProblems Caused by Performance Appraisal

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