Performance Review Story on NPR

By Marcie Levine

Performance Review Story on NPR

On my way to work on Tuesday, I listened to an interesting NPR segment on Performance Reviews (and how they aren’t working for many organizations).   With so many companies entrenched in continuing the performance review process, we believe that the performance review can focus on goal setting and attainment, while a 360 degree feedback component (at a time other than the performance review) can help elicit a conversation about an employee’s strengths and development needs.  A primary key to a successful 360 process is in understanding what co-workers, managers and peers value about an employee, and what areas of concentration will help the employee become more effective.  These themes resonate with employees more than just a top-down assessment reviewing numbers that are either high or low.


Excerpts from:
Behold The Entrenched — And Reviled — Annual Review

by Yuki Noguchi

NPR, October 28, 2014

Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation.

Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.

“They’re fraudulent, bogus and dishonest,” says Samuel Culbert, a management professor at UCLA who does research in dysfunctional management practice. “And second, they’re indicative of and they support bad management.”

“Most people got worked up about it because for employees, they don’t like getting them, and for managers, they don’t like giving them,” Culbert says.

Of course, some human resources executives rushed to defend the performance review. Nearly 90 percent of companies do formal evaluations at least once a year, according to a report last week from the Society for Human Resource Management. But a majority also give them low marks for effectiveness.

John Hagel III, co-chair of a research arm of Deloitte that looks at emerging management trends, says these days, American companies need something different, such as a system that rewards the contributions of what he calls “passionate” workers. These are very engaged people willing to try novel things and risk failure.

Hagel says many performance reviews tend to reward orthodoxy and reliability. But, he says, “passionate workers often don’t play by the rules.”

“Companies are finally facing the fact that this is not the way that we drive optimum performance and engage our workforce,” says Kim Ruyle, a talent management consultant.

He says the primary problem is companies often tie reviews to discussions about raises, and that makes it difficult for employees to actually hear the feedback.

“They’re going to get away from systems driven by compliance and systems that are driven by numbers. And they’re going to move toward systems that are driven by meaningful conversations and with the employees’ benefit in mind,” Ruyle says.

See the full article and listen to the story at:


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About the author

Marcie Levine

Marcie Levine

Prior to founding SurveyConnect, Marcie had more than twelve-years of experience in HR, both as a consultant and in several corporate positions. As an HR consultant, she worked on a variety of client assignments, including the design and implementation of surveys. She created SurveyConnect to streamline and simplify the process of survey creation and administration. Marcie has published articles about 360 feedback process in trade magazines, including the International Society for Performance Improvement, Selling Power, T+D Magazine, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.