Have you been secretly (or not so secretly!) cheering over recent articles about companies like Accenture and Deloitte ditching their performance reviews? These are probably the most universally dreaded job function and with good reason: they often have little value, are awkwardly navigated, and require ridiculous amounts of time to prepare.
Providing feedback in meaningful, healthy ways drives performance and supports high morale, so we cannot eliminate reviews entirely. Although the headlines sound dramatic, other companies aren’t abandoning them, but they are reinventing them. A Harvard Business Review article explains how Facebook approached modifying their review process. You can reinvent yours as well.
So what are alternatives to the 6-page form that takes as many hours to complete? Here are two models to consider.
There's a bandwagon rolling through town with "Ditch the Performance Review" painted on its side. Have you jumped on already? Are you tempted to?
I understand the appeal of this bandwagon. Most people don't enjoy giving feedback and receiving feedback can be awkward. Furthermore, the review process can take up an exorbitant amount of time and pull us away from daily work.
But people need feedback. We need it at home. We need it at work. We need to know how we're doing, and how what we're doing fits in with what others need and want. Generally speaking, people are conscientious and that's where the desire comes from. (If someone is adamant that they don't need feedback of any sort from anyone, I think that brings its own concerns.) Can we agree that people need feedback? And beyond just meeting needs, well-executed reviews can build trust and engagement in your company. The issues comes around how reviews are done...let's look at that.