📑 Low marks for performance reviews

Bookmarked Low marks for performance reviews by Chris Woolston (Knowable Magazine)

Annual assessments can be wildly inaccurate — not to mention soul-crushing. Here’s why the ritual, dreaded by managers and the managed alike, falls short, and what might work better.

Chris Woolston dives into the problematic world of performance reviews. He speaks with a number of experts in the area, including Herman Aguinis, who explain that the process is in many respects broken:

All too often, Aguinis says, formal performance reviews become a self-serving exercise in politics, not a realistic examination of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses. “Some managers will give biased ratings on purpose,” he says. “I have personally seen a supervisor giving a bad employee a good rating just so that employee could get promoted out of his unit.”

The answer is not to remove reviews, by instead make them more regular, therefore making the feedback more meaningful:

To really understand the value of their employees, Aguinis says, managers should double down on the practice of everyday management. That means checking in on employees every day and giving them real-time feedback on things they’re doing well and areas where they can improve. “When performance is a conversation, when it’s not something that happens just once a year, the measurement becomes very easy and straightforward with no surprises,” he says. He adds that it’s important to gather input from many different people within the system – peers as well as supervisors. “The best source of data is often not the manager,” he says.

This is another interesting post which captures some of the problems with feedback and the challenges of self-determined learning in a world ruled by numbers.

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