Time to ditch the evaluation?

Everybody seems to hate them, but performance reviews have been around since at least the Wei Dynasty in third-century China, which used an “imperial rater.” Yet at least one firm has gone ahead and ditched them. “The typical performance review system doesn’t work because you’re demotivating half your population, poking them in the eye with a sharp stick,” says Caroline Stock­­dale, former chief talent… Continue reading

Promoted? Judge performance in new job, not old

Once in a while, promotions just don’t work out. Someone who was great at one job might bomb at another. That’s especially true if the new job involves different skills and talents. Don’t let past performance make you hesitate to discipline. Recent case: Deshane McCaskey began work as a part-time housekeeper at a YMCA. Soon, she was getting compliments for… Continue reading

How to Respond to a Negative Work Performance Review

Come prepared to evaluations and follow-up meetings. Mentally prepare for all possible outcomes: Envision how you will react in each situation. Make a note of your strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. Should your personal assessment reveal areas that warrant criticism, you can meet that criticism with a positive attitude. Listen carefully for both the verbal and nonverbal cues provided… Continue reading

How to Shift Performance Management from Pain to Gain

Ask a top executive, first-line manager, rank-and-file employee or HR professional what they think about their organization’s performance management (PM) process, and you’re certain to elicit a strong response – most of it negative. “Waste of time,” “going through the motions,” “bureaucratic exercise,” “painful,” and “performance mismanagement” are some of the (printable) phrases you are likely to hear. In today’s… Continue reading

How to Manage Your Smartest, Strangest Employee

There is a brilliant and highly accomplished engineer in my company who has managed to break the coffee machine, the toaster and so many other appliances in the company kitchen that we’re considering giving his trail of broken appliances their own line item in the budget. Apparently making toast is more challenging than the complex algorithms he works with every… Continue reading