Harvard Business School Working Knowledge has a current discussion about performance reviews and what can be done to make them more effective. Quite a few interesting comments have been posted so far (discussion closes on November 24). I’ve written quite often about the ineffectiveness of current performance processes, but if you have an opinion, weigh in on the HBS site.
Here’s a snippet of some of the conversations I found more interesting:
- What is the purpose of the review process itself? In my opinion, the purpose of reviews should be to drive better business results for the organization. To this end, certainly employees need to know how they can develop to be better contributors and to make sure the things they work on matter for the company. However, more important is making sure that the daily efforts of employees directly contribute to both their team’s goals and the goals of the organization. Additionally, the tracking of skills and competencies (for the purposes of making better staffing, recruiting, and training decisions) and the insight into these things for managers and HR teams is also vital. – Jon Clemens, CEO, Jakoba Software ((Harvard Business Review Discussion on Performance Management. Retrieved from http://hbswk.hbs.edu on November 13, 2006.))
- History is a good indicator of the future. Performance reviews tell us the history and help us determine what will happen in the future. If we don’t like the prediction then we must change it through the action plan, something that should always be part of a review. – Nauman Faridi, Project Manager, Ultimus Inc. ((Ibid))
- Performance is the other side of personal development. Organisations cannot survive without performance reviews. However, most performance reviews are conducted by ill-trained managers, often without adequate attention to the ongoing process of coaching. The process is not at fault, its execution definitely is! Two critical elements of measuring performance are context and orientation. In most cases, performance measures are set without a clear explanation of the context and the goal orientation needed. Performance and personal development go hand in hand and organisations must include achievement of personal, group, and organisational goals in the performance reviews. – Deepak Alse, Project Leader & Product Engineering Coordinator, Wipro Technologies ((Ibid))
- If top management (the author of performance reviews) can engineer improvements, the mission is accomplished. If not, then someone should find the root cause of failure. Whose responsibility is it to search for such discrepancies? The onus of nonfunctioning people is either on Control or on the wrong choice/selection of people…. If they are doing their job, then where is the need for performance evaluation? It is the initiation of “documentation” mapping the individual’s growth — a growth path or mission fulfillment/competency improvement, etc. – Priyavrat Thareja, Faculty, Pb Engg College ((Ibid))