Demise of the performance review - good news or bad?

There is growing commentary about significant organisations such as National Australia Bank, Deloitte, Andersons and others ditching the ingrained formal performance review process for more regular informal discussions.


If done properly, annual or bi-annual performance reviews take a big chunk of time and effort for managers. For those with several (or more) team members, the hours of preparation, one on one meetings and follow up can amount to weeks.  Multiply that by hundreds of managers and thousands of employees then you can understand the need for organisations to find a better way.


Although performance review season can be a dreaded and stressful time of year for managers, for some employees it is the only time set aside to reflect and to discuss their progress, development needs and their aspirations. Even with a formal review process in place, day to day feedback, coaching and regular discussions about performance should be the norm but in reality relentless “busyness” means it happens far too rarely.


Replacing formal performance reviews with informal discussions might sound good but it is a risk unless managers develop their leadership conversation skills and place a priority on nurturing a performance culture.


An article I wrote recently for Spark Magazine Build a Performing Organisation - One Conversation at a Time outlines three types of conversation that managers can use to build better relationships, address performance issues and stimulate the development of their people. Improving the quality and frequency of these conversations is essential for all organisations wanting better performance and results, regardless of their performance review policy.


What do you think about the demise of the formal performance review process - good news or bad? Contact me to continue the conversation.

Posted: Tuesday 11 August 2015


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