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3 Things to Consider Before Eliminating Performance Evaluations

The wholesale abolition of the performance review has been a hot topic lately. Several big companies, including Deloitte, Accenture, and GE, have done away with a practice that is sometimes seen as misleading or downright counterproductive. But Chris Cancialosi takes a cautionary stance on performance reviews in an article for Forbes, offering reasons why (just maybe) your company should keep them.

Playing Organizational Jenga

Cancialosi’s caution amounts to a game of Jenga, where players take turns removing rectangular wooden blocks from an unstable block tower without toppling the stack. If you’re going to remove an important company practice like the performance review, be sure to replace it with something equivalent or better to stabilize your work culture. Consider these three critical aspects:

  • Feedback
  • Substitution
  • Improvement

Firstly, no organization can survive for long without employee feedback, which guides individual actions and behaviors to align with the goals of the institution and then rewards behaviors that do align. Additionally, the mechanics of compensation and incentive cease to work if you remove a single gear. So it goes with evaluation. Make sure that some comparable mechanism is in place before you remove your annual performance review. There may also be no need to remove the entire process. In many cases, only the rankings cause cynicism. The evaluation aspect (when conducted with due transparency) is a piece of the corporate structure worth preserving.

Not Ditching Evaluation

Accenture, for instance, claims their performance reviews weren’t really boosting performance, but that hasn’t stopped the company from garnering feedback. What they have ditched are the signature forced-rankings and yearly screenings. “Real-time periodic feedback,” the clarification of expectations, and manager-employee goal-setting are still happening in the absence of traditional reviews:

Rather than being a once-a-year process where people are force-ranked, the general sentiment seems to be moving away from structure and administrative burden to more frequent, real-time periodic feedback to let employees know where they stand on an ongoing basis.

Read the original article at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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