WSJ: Get Rid of the Performance Review

This Wall Street Journal article suggests that performance evaluation has more negative effects, by destroying moral, mutual trust and teamwork, than positive.

While I am believer that there should be measures in place, to evaluates employees performance to ensure employees objectives are aligned with company’s objectives as a whole, I agree with some of the points the author of this Article, Dr. Culbert of UCLA, is trying to make.

I do believe that in today’s corporate world, there is a huge gap and mistrust between employee and management.  I completely agree with Dr. Culbert that even though managers are supposed to be coaches and mentors, employee are often blamed and punished for failures in task and projects while managers get away with any kind of accountability.

I can see why Dr. Culbert believes that performance reviews increase the gap and level of mistrust between managers and their employees.  Even thought performance review has the capacity to be a two-way feedback session, performance reviews are often one-way conversation system where the manager decides what they expect fromt heir employees and how their employees have succeeded in meeting those expectations and how they have failed to meet them.  Rarely, a manager asks his or her employee what they can do to clear the road for their employees to perform better.  I have sat in performance evaluation meetings where there were no mentions of what the expectations of me were.

To me one of the biggest issue in a wok place nowadays are that performance evaluations are meant to be the measures for the amount of reward or punishment for employees.  I’m baffled when I see a manager who hasn’t spent 5 minutes during the year to talk to his/her employees thinks that it is possible to measure someone’s level of dedication and performance from a piece of paper in a 30-minute session!   I have never understood how it is possible to use the same measurement to measure a technician and an engineers performance.

Although I consider myself extremely intrinsically motivated, I believe in a reward system where an individual with the most amount of dedication is rewarded and encouraged to exceed higher in life.  However, I fail to see how a performance evaluation can successfully, consistently and fairly measure anybody’s dedication.  Employees are unique in knowledge, ability, career goal and drive.  Unless, there is a way to hire people with the same characteristics, I don’t see a way to fairly reward anyone’s  work with a performance evaluation.  I think employees dedication and hard work are best shown in a system where a manager constantly and equally spends time with all his/her employees and helps them equally to succeed.  In this system, I think an employee that shows most amount of production, growth and drive to do better day after day must be rewarded.  In this system a manager is held accountable as much as his/her subordinates.


~ by aliahmadian on March 3, 2010.

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