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Monday, November 23, 2009

Why performance reviews deserve a better rap

Performance evaluations often get a bad rap by people who see them as a bureaucratic waste of time.

And, yes, if you treat performance evaluations as a waste of time -- just an exercise you have to get through so you can say it was done -- that's exactly what they will be. But when done right, by good managers, performance evaluations can be meaningful and useful, both to the employee and the manager doing the evaluating.

Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about why performance evaluations deserve a better rap. Please check it out.


Ann said...

I think performance reviews are good but I'd love to the slap the person who came up with the self evaluation. Means little when I write it up and you dish it back out to me. Isn't that what they are paid for?

Ask a Manager said...

Actually, no -- self-assessments are useful in spotting where the employee and manager might have different assessments and be out of alignment.

Anonymous said...

I gather that the bad rap for annual performance evals is that they're so inferior to frequent feedback. I prefer frequent feedback myself, but where that's in short supply, I'm grateful for annual reviews. They sure beat no feedback at all.

Marsha Keeffer said...

Self-assessments? Meh!

Anonymous said...

Self performance assessments are very useful, especially when your manager easily forgets what you've accomplished.

Cassie said...

Honestly, I'd rather do a self-assessment. Our dept (as with the other depts in our company) requires employees to get evaluated each year. There's a two page form (1st page has categories like "written communication", "reliability", etc) and the 2nd page is for employee and supervisor comments.

Each supervisor handles these differently. I know some go into detail with their staff. My bosses, however, don't - they give me the highest marks on each section (except one year when one boss gave me the 2nd highest ranking for "customer focus" because he didn't know what the category meant!)

This year, one boss asked the other if there was anything that I needed to improve upon... the latter boss replied "I can't think of anything significant..." which made me wonder if he meant there was something insignificant or if he just meant no. (English not being his first language).

In my experience, the deal with being an assistant to people in academia is that they just want you to get stuff done. They don't particularly care how you do it (they'll let you know when you do something wrong!) and they aren't going to sit down and discuss things with you. It's not so much that they don't have the time - they just aren't interested in that aspect of being a supervisor...

Anonymous said...

That comment on the linked article? About the folder of poison arrows? Yeah. That's how the group I support treats me. I hear nothing all year,and then at review time, BOOM--I'm a screw-up!

Not cool!

I prefer things be addressed right as they are happening very much over walking into a s*** bomb, unaware!

I don't understand why people can't just communicate. It's hurtful.