If you ask around, you will likely have trouble finding people who really, truly enjoy having to conduct or be a part of review processes. It tends to be repetitive and dull. The fact is reviews are often an unwanted requirement of the job. They are addressed with a sort of let’s-get-this-over-with mentality. Unfortunately, as Jeff Schmitt of Forbes points out, it is precisely that type of attitude that can lead to the “silent company killer.” Although many may disagree, conducting a review is not a pointless exercise.
Schmitt remembers being part of the review process himself. People tend not to care when reviews are not taken seriously, he notes. The procedure is usually the same every time with managers writing half-hearted assessments and employees being fine with everything because they receive their yearly raises. Next, the boss tells everyone to keep up the good work. This might all sound fine, but what is really happening here, according to Schmitt, is that employees are starting to feel that reviews don’t matter so much because it seems that the boss doesn’t really care about them:
We were great at our jobs. But we got the message: Our leaders didn’t take the review process seriously…so they didn’t take us seriously. Personally, it hurt knowing I wasn’t among the Hi-Po’s who’d get all the personal attention and coaching. My bosses weren’t writing a development plan for me. I wouldn’t receive the training or travel to gain more skills, experience, and connections. There were no stretch assignments or high profile projects in my future. I’d have to do it all myself – and do it on my own time.
It can be truly problematic when your employer does not fully recognize your abilities. This is the true “silent company killer” that Schmitt mentions. If you fail to bring out the best in your employees, you also fail to bring out the best in your entire organization. Too often companies get sucked into the culture of making money. Clearly, making money is the point of business, but simply seeing profit does automatically mean things are going well. If an organization is bring in money will little or no interruption, it may seem that nothing needs to be improved. The truth of the matter is that focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees can be the difference between making a profit and making a better profit.
This focus on the here and now of money making is a truly detrimental way of thinking, Schmitt notes. It is the type of thinking that makes people look for jobs with organizations that will actually appreciate the work they do. Schmitt finishes his article by remind us that leaders must shape their employees and urge them to bring out their strengths in the work place. Reviews must have real meaning so that the employees know that those in power really do care about what is going on. Again, no one thinks reviews are fun, but everyone should recognize that they are necessary.