• Mark Shaw

A Critique of Performance Reviews

Recently my friend, a Senior Executive with companies including Energex, Siemens Energy Services, and Power & Water Corp told me:

“I’ve spent a lot of time completing reviews with staff and found the results (short term and beyond) did not provide the expected benefits for either party.”

It got me thinking and doing some research.

AHRI (The Australian Human Resources Institute) advises its 20,000 members that there are 13 approaches to performance appraisal.

While all approaches recognise the subjectivity of reviews, they vary in the assessment process. Some rank employees, some force distribution against the Bell Curve, and others focus on critical incidents or detailed observation. Also, the stated disadvantages vary; costly and time intensive to create, causes harmful rivalry between staff, inhibits freedom to innovate, particularly unreliable and need experts to implement.

Ironically only one approach is described as “job-specific, uses clear performance standards, is objective and transparent”. It made me wonder why the other approaches are even considered. It’s an approach called Behavioural Anchored Rating Scales (or BARS). Its apparent disadvantage is it is costly and time intensive to create.

Fortunately, that challenge has been addressed. For the past 20 years, I have been using technology to provide BARS-Based Performance Review Apps that provides all the stated benefits without any of the disadvantages.

More importantly, it helps my friend by supporting his conversation with his employee while automating the paperwork and providing big data for HR and Corporate analysis.

In summary and at this time of crisis and change, I encourage you to consider the opportunity for you to demonstrate your value-adding contribution by implementing a simpler, more efficient process to achieve the required business outcomes.

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