Can We Finally Get Rid of Annual Performance Appraisals?

Posted on September 18, 2012.

The HR blog, Fistful of Talent, recently opined about the archaic exercise of the annual performance review.  I honestly don’t know anyone who likes them. Not the person having to complete them and certainly not the people receiving them.  Can’t we just all find a way to bury them for good?

Try some alternatives like:

  • Implementing Feedback Loops.  This may take some time up front determine exactly what behavior you want to stop or encourage, and the mechanism to measure it, but just like sings that flash your speed, you usually get instant results.
  • Setting measurable goals. You not only need to establish the goal, you need to set up the measurement system. If you want you r salespeople to make xx calls a month, you need to track it and then show them the results on regular basis.  Save your non-measurable, behavior type goals for your feedback loop. Keeping everyone informed as to where they stand against goal eliminates the need to have a performance appraisal just for this purpose.
  • Conducting peer reviews.  Several companies have moved to creating a system where peers weigh in on peers.  It may be project specific where everyone who worked on that team completes a form at the end of the project and gives each team member a grade. The reviews are anonymous, but each team member knows exactly how they measured up when each task is completed.

The reality is that if you aren’t locked in your office completing lengthy outdated appraisals, you have the time to communicate with your staff more.  By being more engaged and involved, you know exactly who should get the raises and promotions.  You need to justify it with a multi-page document that no one reads.

Of course, if you work for a company where they will never let you bury them, we offered some tips last year for completing them in a more effective manner.