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Dreaded appraisals and performance reviews

By December 20, 2011 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

At this time of year many workers and managers are preparing for the often dreaded annual appraisal and performance review.

While most  organisations continue to perform this uncomfortable process once or twice a year, a few companies are scrapping the formality altogether, according to an article by the Corporate Executive Board featured in a recent  article in the Wall Street Journal. The thinking is that performance reviews can be stressful and even ineffective in motivating workers.

Traditional top-down performance reviews can also cause intimidation among employees and make them fearful of acknowledging weaknesses, says Samuel A. Culbert, a management professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

However, some experts caution that scrapped performance reviews must be replaced with some form of feedback mechanism.

Without documented reviews, some employees may be able to slack off without repercussion. Others may fail to be recognised for their achievements.

Additionally, companies that bypass reviews say it places a lot of responsibility on both managers and employees to have those difficult conversations that can fall through the cracks when not mandated.

In our experience, many organisations “go through the motions” when it comes to annual appraisals, and perform them just because it is expected of them. In a majority of cases, little benefit is perceived by the appraiser or the employee being appraised, making it a questionable use of time and effort for all concerned.

A well implemented reward and recognition program is an ideal method to provide up to date performance information at any point during the year. When used as a feeder system linked to an appraisal system it can deliver regular information on staff behaviour and performance. With measurement against pre-determined KPI or corporate values, it makes appraisals relevant, informative and beneficial to all parties.

To discuss how Brownie Points reward and recognition programs can add value to your business call us on 03 9909 7411 or email us at

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