Annual Performance Reviews, Please Go Join the Dinosaurs

performance-review-one-to-five-stars-david-burkus-4The idea of the performance evaluation, it was a good one. It served its purpose well in its time. The goals were very noble: giving people feedback on where they are, where they need to be, their development of desired skills, etc. However, this is a world of instant feedback and lightning fast pace. Annual feedback is way too little and way too late.

In this session of ExecuNet Master Class, Dr. David Burkus, a highly regarded and increasingly influential business school professor who challenges many of the established principles of business management, said, “A lot of companies are finding the annual ritual of the annual review is just not effective. It’s not a frequent enough cycle to give people valid feedback.”┬áHe even suggested that an annual review is even more destructive than productive.

Direct, timely, ongoing feedback in a non-competitive real-time manner is what is best practice today. Many companies are going from annual and even every six month reviews to training their managers to have more frequent conversations with their people. For example, a once per month check-in between manager and direct report that contains three key elements works very well. The three elements being:

  • Expectations: What are the expectations for the manager for the report, and what are the expectations for the report for the manager.
  • Feedback: How the manager thinks the report is doing, and how the report thinks the manager is doing getting him what he needs.
  • Growth and Development: Where does the report want to go and how can the company help. How do the report’s goals fit into the company goals.
Watch this excerpt from Under New Management: How Leading Organizations are Upending Business as Usual to hear Dr. David Burkus talk in detail about how leading organizations are approaching performance reviews.
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William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

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