6 thoughts on “Scrap Performance Reviews, Start Talent Conversations

  1. Mark Johnson says:

    I’m amazed that the conversation about performance reviews is contrasted to having on-going informal performance conversations. Since when is it either or or? Performance reviews work WELL when they are coupled with on-going feedback. And then you don’t need to dump them, and figure out some other challenging way to handle compensation issues.

    Many of the publicized instances of dropping reviews actually describe that what is being dropped is the byzantine practice of stack ranking performance (ala GE). Performance reviews and ratings are very different from forced rankings.

    1. Lauren McSwain-Starrett says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for you thoughtful comment. We agree. Our observation that forced ranking “rank and yank” is widely being scrapped and many companies are reconsidering how they do performance reviews now. More are giving weight to ongoing evaluation, which requires managers to be good at giving feedback and holding talent conversations. But it doesn’t have to be either/or, you’re right!

  2. Mark Johnson says:

    I’m amazed that the conversation about performance reviews is contrasted to having on-going informal performance conversations. Since when is it either or or? Performance reviews work WELL when they are coupled with on-going feedback. And then you don’t need to dump them, and figure out some other challenging way to handle compensation issues.

    Many of the publicized instances of dropping reviews actually describe that what is being dropped is the byzantine practice of stack ranking performance (ala GE). Performance reviews and ratings are very different from forced rankings.

    1. Lauren McSwain-Starrett says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for you thoughtful comment. We agree. Our observation that forced ranking “rank and yank” is widely being scrapped and many companies are reconsidering how they do performance reviews now. More are giving weight to ongoing evaluation, which requires managers to be good at giving feedback and holding talent conversations. But it doesn’t have to be either/or, you’re right!

  3. Robert Stewart says:

    There is merit in this concept. But I would suggest that the “talent review” works most effectively as a feedback mechanism. In my experience, feedback is the one key ingredient missing between a supervisor and subordinate, and all too often feedback focuses on the negative, rarely on the positive. The performance review has a place in some organizations because it is the basis for bonuses and maybe job assignments. Having spent 30 years in the Air Force, those annual performance reports became part of the promotion equation, and with an organization as large and diverse as the Air Force, it was the best way to separate the high performance people from everyone else.

    Another aspect I think many leaders get wrong about feedback, they make it formal, when often times informal feedback is the most effective. That is the feedback that comes from the heart, not the head. Simply stopping by a work station (or wherever the employee is working) and spending a moment to provide feedback on how well something was handled, maybe offer some hints or tips from experience, go a lot further than formal feedback goes. Feedback takes place often…

  4. Robert Stewart says:

    There is merit in this concept. But I would suggest that the “talent review” works most effectively as a feedback mechanism. In my experience, feedback is the one key ingredient missing between a supervisor and subordinate, and all too often feedback focuses on the negative, rarely on the positive. The performance review has a place in some organizations because it is the basis for bonuses and maybe job assignments. Having spent 30 years in the Air Force, those annual performance reports became part of the promotion equation, and with an organization as large and diverse as the Air Force, it was the best way to separate the high performance people from everyone else.

    Another aspect I think many leaders get wrong about feedback, they make it formal, when often times informal feedback is the most effective. That is the feedback that comes from the heart, not the head. Simply stopping by a work station (or wherever the employee is working) and spending a moment to provide feedback on how well something was handled, maybe offer some hints or tips from experience, go a lot further than formal feedback goes. Feedback takes place often…

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