R.I.P. for Performance Appraisals?

TTrijilloTammeron Trujillo, Human Resource Services

Much is being made of the demise of traditional performance appraisals. In 2000, Garold Markle declared the end of the performance review in his book titled, Catalytic Coaching. ” In 2012, the Economic Times reported that  Adobe Systems was ending its process of providing annual performance appraisals. And in January of this year, the New York Times ran an article titled, “10 Reasons Performance Reviews Don’t Work.” Is the era of performance appraisals coming to an end? Not really, performance reviews are just morphing into what they probably should have been all along.

No supervisor or employee have ever gotten up in the morning saying “Oh goody, it’s performance appraisal day!” But, for years employers have slogged through the process, once a year of filling out a form that was usually more representative of employees’ last few weeks of accomplishments, or lack thereof, rather than a thoughtful and comprehensive review of an entire year’s worth of performance.

Current trends focus on what really helps supervisors manage employees in ways that are productive and motivating. What are these “brand new” techniques? Talking to employees, and talking to them often. Employees are chock full of ideas for how to do their jobs better, and most want to implement those ideas. The tendency of traditional performance appraisal to list and rate past behavior was tiresome for supervisors and frightening for employees. So, let the old forms rest in peace and let a new version of performance management based on year-round, job-related discussions. Live long and prosper.

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