O P I N I O N
Instead, consider regular performance discussions and an annual strategy meeting to set, implement, and evaluate goals and initiatives. Rethink annual performance reviews
W hether the reviewer or reviewee, very few people enjoy annual performance reviews. For the reviewer, providing a performance review is a large responsibility. Conducting one properly requires a significant amount of planning and work. Reviewers must think back over a full year as they consider an employee’s performance. They should have a written document prepared with objective facts and observations. Then they are put in the uncomfortable position of providing some level of criticism, most of which will be poorly received and have a different impact than what was intended.
Then there are the individuals being reviewed. Their anxiety and tension levels are elevated over concerns this review will have an impact on their career, advancement opportunities, and pay rate. They seek constructive criticism and ideas for improvement but fear negative criticism. Most come away from their performance review glad it’s over and that it only occurs once a year. Attempting to sum up an entire year of work in a one-hour discussion is pointless. Overall, most employees feel an annual performance review is yet another painful corporate process. It’s no
surprise that numerous studies have shown that annual performance reviews are ineffective and result in little, if any, performance improvements. But year after year, companies keep enforcing this process. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that more than 72 percent of companies continue to mandate and conduct formal annual performance reviews. I have been in the AEC industry for more than 35 years and have been part of numerous
See BRIAN KING, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER OCTOBER 25, 2021, ISSUE 1414
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