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It’s performance time again!

Posted by Justin Field on June 20, 2011


Folks, we’re in the midst of performance appraisals again. Yes, I used the dreaded ‘appraisal’ word because it heavily embedded in our culture.  But I wish that it wasn’t about appraisal in the sense of judgement.  It makes employees nervous and fretful, and gives managers headaches about what to say, how to say it, and how to deliver bad feedback.  What I really wish for is a world where:

  • employees look forward to the performance review cycle as a meaningful way of having a chat about how they are doing in their role
  • managers feel comfortable with reviewing an employee’s performance, giving good concrete examples of desirable and undesirable behaviours
  • employees have a crystal clear picture of the year ahead, and the expectations that the manager has

Sometimes we focus too much on having a good computer system to help with the performance review.  But in truth, the computer system is just a way of supporting the process.  For employees and managers to derive value from the process, they have to engage with open minds and with a willingness to learn.

3 Responses to “It’s performance time again!”

  1. Meg Bear said

    Yay! A Justin blog, what a treat. I could not agree more — software and process are *not* the point of the review — it’s about people and conversation. Thanks for getting me ready for writing a few of these conversations up (it’s on my to-do list next week).

    -Meg

  2. Sri Subramanian said

    Agreed Justin! Appraisal and all the software for it, is just a way to remind folks to have this conversation *in written form*. The appraisal, (which is often only once a year,and meant to reinforce the messages from ongoing career growth conversations) brings all the value of written communication – structure that inevitably comes from putting things on paper, ability to refer back, lack of ambiguity, etc.

  3. […] It’s performance time again! […]

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