Do performance reviews really matter?

There was a time when all the talk was around Performance Reviews and whether they are effective and even necessary. Adobe famously (at least in the HR realm) abruptly got away from them, and instead replaced them with “check-ins.” I have worked with a couple of companies that also went in this direction. So the question is, does this work? The answer is, that it depends. If you have read any of my blogs before you already guessed that to be the answer, so let me elaborate a little further. The success of doing away with performance reviews instead of “check-ins” or 1-1’s or whatever depends on the preparation the manager is putting into the meeting. The purpose of the meeting should be to help the employee know where they stand, what they are doing right, what they can improve on, and so on. It is also an opportunity for the employee to speak to the manager about their career goals and aspirations. What they want to do more of, what they want to do less of, how things can improve, and what needs to be left alone. The problem is, that no one takes the time to do any of this. And by no one, I mean NO ONE. Not the manager, not the employee. The manager “gets too busy” and this is seen as a chore. The employee only wants to know three things: 1. Am I getting a raise? 2. When am I getting the raise? 3. How much is the raise?

Now, if you are the manager and you see this as a chore, I need you to channel your inner Will Smith and give yourself a big ol’ slap right across the face. This is your job! If you are fortunate enough to manage people (stop snickering – it is an honor) you are responsible for their professional growth. If that interferes with your TPS reports then maybe if you spent more time developing your team, you could effectively delegate out your TPS reports!

If you are the employee, you own as much (if not more) of this than the manager. Whether it is a 1-1 or a full-on performance review, this is your opportunity to express what you are looking for and work with your manager to help you get there. If you are coming in looking solely for the money, honey, you are looking at short-changing yourself and your career. I have found, and firmly believe, that if you make your career your priority, the money will come. Make yourself indispensable and your financial prospects will grow significantly more.

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