Post by
Joy Van Skiver, President
The POWERformance Group

Throw Out the Bathwater, but Keep the Baby


Based on my active participation in Performance Management conferences and as an avid reader of current research, I can see that the jury’s still out on performance reviews. Keep them? Toss them? Change them?

Just as company cultures are different, a decision one company makes is not necessarily the right decision for another company.

However, if the gurus in the PM field are expressing some indefiniteness about reviews, and if experienced HR practitioners are bewildered, how can you decide what’s best for your company?

Perhaps it’s not a black and white decision. Consider an in-between option.

Initiating frequent check-ins doesn’t mean that performance reviews have to go. There’s room for both. As long as reviews reflect a growth mindset — like check-ins —they can add value to talent development.

The old traditional reviews that take too much time to write and that everyone hates need to be thrown out — that’s the bathwater. The NEW REVIEW focuses on what to do instead of what was done. That’s the baby worth keeping.

Here’s the best reason for using NEW REVIEWS: People remember what they hear when they also see it in print. Performance conversations can pull lots of good thoughts together. Capturing those good thoughts in writing makes it easy for a team member to revisit the manager’s message, especially when the manager encourages that kind of follow up.

So, before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, consider reinventing what you have in place.

Want help with reviews? Check out The POWERformance Group’s products and services at www.powerformance.com or contact Joy Van Skiver (joy.vanskiver@powerformance.com).

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