Performance Appraisals are a Big Fat Waste of Time

Performance reviews are a big, fat waste of time. According to Alexander Kjerulf, self proclaimed “Chief Happiness Officer” and author of Happy Hour is 9 to 5, there are 9 reasons why performance appraisals are a waste of time:

  1. Everybody hates them – this is almost self explanatory. When have you come to the end of the year and said woohoo, it’s time to do performance reviews! Quite frankly, those that do like them either don’t follow the process the rest of us do or have a warped sense of management.
  2. They try to do too much – goal setting, a year’s worth of performance review, pay increases, corporate strategy and goal settings: too often we try to cram all performance management into the annual performance review. Separate it out for goodness sake!
  3. They become an excuse for not talking the rest of the year – how many managers have you had that spend most of year hands off and then nail you on the performance appraisal? It’s sad that a lot of managers avoid talking with their employees – except during the painful time of performance review season.
  4. They are too structured and formal – keeping the same structure and format for everyone from the mail room to the CEO makes no sense. The formality of the performance review increases the likeliness that the results will be fake.
  5. They focus too much on the quantifiable – can you really quantify every category in a performance review? Many jobs in the information society can not be easily quantified and we use the numbers we do have as a crutch at performance review time.
  6. They may not be formally connected with promotions and salary negotiations – in reality everyone knows they are – some companies have moved to separate promotions and salary from the performance review process but employees all know they’re connected.
  7. No one says what they really think – the process is not designed to encourage honest exchanges between employees and managers. It’s a time to struggle against the natural rating your manager gives you and a desire to get your raise this year.
  8. They take A LOT of time – when employees and managers could be productive and increase revenues and profits, we suck them away to spend countless weeks in an ineffective performance review process.
  9. They become a crutch for bad managers – many managers like the process because it gives them easy forms to fill out for each employee and they can use sites like this one to simply copy and paste performance review phrases onto the form.

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