Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Honestly Subjective Performance Reviews

(Thanks Lasse.) Corporate performance reviews are for the most part a waste of time. At my last job, I worked with the same set of peers for around four years, and we did peer reviews on their anniversaries. The first year, I tried to provide constructive feedback on how I thought people were doing, what they could do better, etc. The second, third, and fourth years, I had no idea what to write. Reiterate what I wrote the year before? Try to comment on what they were doing better than they did last year? I didn't have a clue. Once (with a really cool boss) I wrote my evaluation as a limerick.

This article discusses what's wrong with reviews, and how they can be better. First of all, just bail on the idea that reviews can ever be objective, any more than journalists can. Then focus on the future, not the past. It's a very agile idea. I'm excited about the future of work. I think corporations of the 21st century can work so much better. But how many companies are willing to give it a shot?