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The Employee Performance Review can be a Hindrance to Effective Team Work

By Guest Author On February 7, 2011 Under Improve Your Life, Success Secrets

I think that the annual employee performance review should truly be a thing of the past. How should performance be gauged? To get-go, comparing a company’s actual and targeted budget on a department level and determining how employees from the different departments contributed to or hindered the company budget.

Dr. Samuel Culbert, consultant, author and professor of management at UCLA (Reference: Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2008, The Journal Report, Human Resources Section, “Get Rid of the Performance Review” by Samuel A. Culbert), argues that the traditional Performance Review is detrimental to company performance; a prime cause of low morale; and damages inter-company communications and teamwork.  Dr. Culbert lists the negatives resulting from how traditional Performance Review is typically implemented:

Two Different Mindsets:  The boss is thinking about the company  Comprehensive Business Plans in terms of performance meliorations, missed opportunities, skill limitations and team kinetics.  The subordinate is interested with compensation and job advancement.

Resource: For more information on company planning and strategy, please see my article on  Write Business Plans.

Performance doesn’t Determine Pay Levels:  As much as prevailing market forces do along with, employee experience and Company Budget constraints. 

Subjective Objectivity:  It can be argued that a Performance Critique is as much an expression of the evaluator’s self-interests as it is the subordinate’s strengths and weaknesses.  The newest performance review method, 360 Degree Feedback, gives anonymous feedback on an employee without any credibleness built into the evaluation method.  It is too easy for self-interests to come forth and axes to be ground with such a subjective, unaccountable performance evaluation method. 

One Size doesn’t Fit All:  Cookie cutter Employee Performance checklists often create a situation of boss pleasing behaviors verses doing a good job.  Different people with different functions and backgrounds shouldn’t be judged on the same rating scale and one size fits all system. 

Personal Development is Impeded:  Subordinates are often intimidated by a Boss’ involvement in job performance as the Performance Review Structure discourages self-honesty about an employee’s short comings and areas which need improvement.  Subordinates feel self-analysis and self honesty could very well come back to chaff them during the evaluation.

Hindrance to Effective Teamwork:  The most important team dynamic, that between boss and his or her subordinates, is undermined by the Performance Review process.  The Boss is preaching teamwork, but the Performance Review process is one-sided, as the boss sees him or herself as the evaluator and doesn’t engage his team of associates.  Dr. Culbert, calls it like it seems to the subordinate:  “… a ubiquitous need for subordinates to spin all facts and viewpoints in directions they believe the boss will find pleasing.  It defeats any chance that the boss will hear what subordinates actually think.”

Immorality of Justifying Corporate Improvement:  At first I thought, as experienced Business Consultant, this is an awfully “strong” argument by Dr. Culbert, but after reading the first sentence in this section, I think he makes a valid point:  “I believe it’s immoral to maintain the façade that annual pay and performance reviews lead to corporate improvement, when it’s chiseled they lead to more bogus activities than valid ones.”  Performance Reviews tend to dispirit the employee and create distrust and cynicism.  The amount of inefficiency created by “cover your butt” mentalities is probably much more meaning(a) than managers know. 

I will have more on the alternative, the Performance Preview, in my next article…

About The Author

Frank Goley is a business consultant, business turnaround consultant, business plan expert, business coach, small business consultant, business planner, marketing consultant, online marketing seo consultant, and business plan consultant for ABC Business Consulting. Frank is considered an expert in writing, developing and implementing business plans, business turnaround plans, funding business plans, marketing plans, strategic plans and web marketing plans. Frank offers comprehensive business consulting, business coaching, business turnaround consulting, along with web seo, web development and web marketing consulting, to small and medium size companies. Frank is the author of a business plan book, The Comprehensive Business Plan Workbook – A Step by Step Guide to Effective Business Planning, and he has over 120 published articles and e-books on business success strategies. He also writes the Business Success Strategies Blog.

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