Critiques of Performance Management and Performance Reviews

Top : Critiques and Criticisms of Performance Management

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The Busy Learner's Kit For Making Performance Management and Appraisal VALUABLE: Walking The Path Together by Robert Bacal

There are many critiques and negative comments on the PRACTICE of performance management and appraisal.

In many of these there are important kernals of truth that we can learn from.

The Catch About Critiques

The major catch with almost all of the critiques, whether they come from illustrious people like W.E. Deming, or from more recent book authors and HR staff, is that:

They are based on the very worst practices, and make the assumption that it's impossible to have performance reviews that actually add value. If you look only at failures, you can't help but come away with the idea that the "thing" is hopeless.


Very few people have had the chance to participate on high functioning performance management systems, so they can experience the huge benefits that CAN be attained.

They DO Work, They CAN Work, Even If Most Often They Are Badly Implemented

I've been lucky enough to observe and/or participate in performance revew and management systems that actually run well, contribute to employee engagement, and improve productivity and morale: I've outlined just such a case study in The Hooper-Bacal Method For Managing Performance, which you can view here (it will open a new window).

Various Critiques and Commentary on The Shortcomings of Performance Reviews and Performance Management

How performance appraisals send you GAGA

By Leon Gettler - MANY performance appraisal systems are helping to produce dysfunctional organisations, according to a workplace ethics expert. When reading this be alert to mischaracterizations of appraisals and performance management. Viewed 2364 Times )

Now what? What to do after you scrap your company's performance appraisal system

By Fred Nichols - Colleague Fred Nichols, who has pushed for scrapping performance appraisals, puts forth some ideas on what you should do instead. Good stuff. Viewed 501 Times )

Performance Appraisals Don't Work

By Susan M. Heathfield - In this article, the contention is that performance appraisals don't work -- it echos a common sentiment, but it fails to acknowledge that appraisals, in the hands of skilled managers, can be powerful tools for aligning employees to common goals, and helping everyone succeed. Viewed 1025 Times )

Performance appraisals - a double-edged sword

By Norweigan School of Management - Performance appraisals can actually be counter-productive for employees who are in the greatest need of training and further development. This fact is highlighted by Professor Bard Kuvaas from the BI Norwegian School of Management, based on a new research study. Viewed 3653 Times )

Appraising the Performance of Performance Appraisals | LinkedIn

By Ron Baker - Your standard one-sided critique of performance appraisals. It's not that the points made are invalid, but they reflect poor implementation and a misunderstanding of how to make reviews work. Make sure the read the comments. Viewed 561 Times )

Performance appraisals aren't working down under

By Tim Baker - There are several inherent problems with this conventional appraisal system in Australia and perhaps elsewhere. I know this after interviewing 1,200 L&D and HR professionals last year in Australia and New Zealand across all industry groups. As L&D professionals, we are often required to train manager on how to give feedback so I was particularly interested in this feedback. I asked these managers to identify any shortcomings the standard performance appraisal system has. Responses varied, but essentially I identified eight themes from my research. Read the themes in the article which also contains some advice. Viewed 511 Times )

GembaWalkabout - The Case Against Performance Appraisals And Pay For Performance - Deming's Thoughts

By na - Well done critique of performance reviews based on Deming's sayings. Unfortunately, Deming was limited regarding his own understanding of Psychology and the options available to make appraisals work. Viewed 493 Times )

The Seattle Times: Business - Reviews rate a needs improvement

By Seattle Times - Only three of 10 workers agree that their company's review process actually helps employees improve performance, according to a new study released by Watson Wyatt. Viewed 1670 Times )

Scrap Your Performance Appraisal System - CRM Magazine

By na - A good article, but it's fascinating to see that the author suggests scrapping appraisals, and then describes a modernized performance management system which would still end up having to have some formal means of documenting and feedback -- in effect, scrap it, then sneak it in, and don't call it what it is. Viewed 740 Times )

What's to Be Done About Performance Reviews? %u2014 HBS Working Knowledge

By Jim Heskett - Some great points in this article which is focused one what needs to be done to make performance reviews valuable. Pay particular attention to the quote from Bob Handwerk, "The 'pain'... of conducting performance reviews is associated with ... a lack of clear mutual (management and employee) understanding of their purpose." Viewed 889 Times )

Performance without Appraisal - Pay, Promotion, and Improvement

By Esther Derby - Using Deming as a foundation, the author suggests there should be no appraisals, and that merit pay doesn't make sense. Viewed 491 Times )

What's wrong with Talent Management - Part 1

By na - A blog entry that presents a proposal that we scrap performance systems and we pursue increases in employee engagement and mixes of total rewards that are more attuned to employee needs, but we can throw out the old practice of measuring performance scores that is largely meaningless. A great example of a poorly thought out strategy, and a gross misunderstanding of what performance management can and should offer. Standard throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Viewed 1663 Times )

4 things your boss will never tell you about getting a raise or promotion

By Eric Barke - What effects performance reviews? This research suggests it is not hard work, or even achievement, but whether the employee is good at projecting a good and positive perception. Ouch. Viewed 277 Times )

Why the annual performance review doesn't work for young professionals

By DAVID CICCARELLI - Among the recommendations here include doing practice feedback/review sessions so everyone knows what to expect, and to focus on real time feedback. The latter may be a bit problematic for real world workplaces. Viewed 355 Times )

Get Rid of the Performance Review! -

By SAMUEL A. CULBERT - You can call me dense, you can call me iconoclastic, but I see nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review. It's a mainstream practice that has baffled me for years. To my way of thinking, a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense. It's a negative to corporate performance, an obstacle to straight-talk relationships, and a prime cause of low morale at work. Even the mere knowledge that such an event will take place damages daily communications and teamwork. Viewed 1332 Times )

The corporate kabuki of performance reviews - Washington Post

By Jena McGregor - Among the hundreds of reasons to hate performance reviews, here's another: They dull certain parts of our brains. Temporarily, at least. Brain research shows that when a person's status is threatened-something that often happens when we're told in a performance review how we need to improve-activity diminishes in certain regions of the brain. When that occurs, says David Rock, the author of "Your Brain at Work" and the director of an institute aimed at applying neuroscience to leadership issues, "people's fields of view actually constrict, they can take in a narrower stream of data, and there's a restriction in creativity." Not exactly a state of mind anyone wants to have. But we don't need neuroscience to tell us why the annual performance review song-and-dance is so universally reviled. Viewed 489 Times )

Managers are from Mars, Performance Appraisals from Venus - Running Agile

By na - This is a brief account of a presentation on performance appraisals that suggests the process should be replaced by more ongoing interaction between manager and employee. It's interesting because it falls into the trap of one or the other. My recommendation is you make appraisals mesh with the other aspects of performance management. Viewed 1353 Times )

Abolishing Performance Appraisals

By Tom Coens and Mary Jenkins - Abolish performance appraisals? Certainly, if they don't work! Viewed 2243 Times )

The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance

By Dr Tim Baker - In recent weeks our HR Manager, Anne Tocker, had the pleasure of working with Dr Tim Baker on a contribution to his new book regarding the 5 Conversations, which is an innovative new performance review framework we utilise with our clients here at wattsnext. In Tim's book we were able to explore the successes of implementing a new performance review framework that is like no other performance review that we have come across. One benefit is the quality interactions that are created between employees and managers. We also discuss the challenges associated with ensuring that if a business does choose to implement this model, or for that matter any new model, how do we ensure its success through engaging and enlightening managers on the power of the performance review process. Tim's article below looks at the inefficiencies and issues we see with performance reviews and discusses the 5 Conversations review model in detail describing the focus of each of the five conversations and the associated benefits. Viewed 490 Times )

Managers! Time to Ditch Performance Reviews? | HRNewsDaily

By na - Forget the article, but WOW, on the infographic on the history of performance reviews. Viewed 606 Times )

Performance Reviews: They're Pointless - Businessweek

By Liz Ryan - In this Businessweek blog, once again we see a badly thought through, and limited understanding of performance reviews. The error here is to assume that reviews, standing alone, are useful. They are only useful as part of a coordinated system to manage individual performance: Excerpt: If your firm isn't giving out raises, you've got a great excuse to forgo the whole appraisal exercise. Do we really need to tell employees where they excelled and where they fell down over the past year--and does it help them when we do? Viewed 705 Times )

HR probably hates review time too - Life Inc.

By Eve Tahmincioglu - "It's no secret that many employees dread performance reviews. What is surprising, however, is that the very people who help promote them in companies dislike them too." That's true. Without solid performance management systems, NOBODY likes them. Viewed 587 Times )

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Pages Updated On: 6-Sep-2016 - 15:26:57

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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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