There’s nothing like returning to work after post-Thanksgiving holiday food comas. The best part is you get to prep for one of the most dysfunctional, time-wasting, intellectually insulting, and leadership-lazy exercises known to mankind: the end of year review.
They’re stupid. Period.
And before you go all “I don’t need to read this – I’m a business leader and HR people are the ones who do performance management” you need to sit down, shut up, and read because if you have that mindset, you’re a huge part of the problem.
How failed is our leadership culture that we have to sit around and wait for HR or executive management to dictate when and in what form we must critique the people on our teams?
How messed up is it that we have to rely on compulsory forms with rating scales to tell people how they’re doing?
How sad is it that we have to hold cross-calibrations to stack rank people and force a performance distribution because our managers lack the ability to look outside their own organization and assess comparable levels of talent and performance?
We’re a management disaster, people!
I’ve written plenty on the dangers of bad feedback, the importance of self-appraisals, the requirement to fix bad performance before it becomes terrible performance, and how awful butt sandwiches taste. Add this post to the list of rants about why our performance management systems are broken and what we as leaders need to do to fix them.
If someone works for us for 365 days, we owe them much more than a once-a-year sit-down to discuss their performance. We owe our organization more than looking at all personnel once every four seasons. If we truly want to get out of the rut of annual performance reviews being as palatable as beet and Brussels sprout casserole, we have to create a new culture around reviewing performance. Here’s how we as leaders can do that: