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Performance Reviews: Where We Went Wrong and How to Get Back on Track

Recognize This! – The failures of the traditional annual review process can be solved through the crowdsourced performance review.

During the last decade, the clamour to end the traditional approach to the performance review has risen to deafening levels. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is Gen Y employees demanding better. Thanks to them, employees of all generations can benefit.

I like particularly how succinctly Eric Mosley, the CEO of Globoforce, makes the argument in his new McGraw-Hill book, The Crowdsourced Performance Review. The traditional, paper-based, annual approach as the sole means of providing detailed feedback to employees served a purpose decades ago. Indeed, it still does serve a valid purpose today. But the many failures of the traditional performance review must be solved through the input of crowdsourced reviews.

Just a few of the failings of the traditional appraisal process and the solutions of the crowdsourced review are:

Failing: The opinion of one person drives the annual review.

Solution: Supplement manager feedback and observation with the wisdom of the crowd – recognition received throughout the year from other employees, peers and colleagues.

Failing: Because the review is given annually, it is too infrequent and pegged to one point in time.

Solution: Give informal, regular ongoing feedback throughout the year that’s referenced during the annual review process. This timely feedback from multiple sources is far more effective at reinforcing desired behaviors and actions so that employees are encouraged to repeat actions and behaviors that  you need again and again.

Failing: Most traditional, annual reviews give feedback on goals achieved, with little focus on behaviors demonstrated.

Solution: Incorporate how results were achieved, based on your core values, as part of the review. To truly crowdsource the review, encourage all employees to recognize each other throughout the year when they see someone living your values in their daily work.

The cumulative effect of this information gathered throughout the year from multiple sources balances out the single source of more goal-based information from the manager at the annual review.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the failings of the annual performance review. I encourage you to check out The Crowdsourced Performance Review  for more.

What’s your typical experience with the performance review process in your workplace.