Thursday, March 01, 2012


Performance Reviews 2.0

One of the greatest thought leaders of the twentieth century, W. Edwards Deming, wroteIn his view, the system causes 80 percent of the problems in a business and the system is management’s responsibility...

A job well done deserves a proper reward, right? In a team setting, can you really succeed in acknowledging an individual's efforts without killing the team's morale and productivity?

Do you work in a culture where you actually have received great performance reviews but are somewhat embarrassed to share this fact with others? The majority of large enterprises use ranking systems as a basis for dismissing the lowest performers, making the practice even more threatening. When team members are in competition with each other for their livelihood, teamwork quickly evaporates.

There is no greater de-motivator than a reward system that is perceived to be unfair.
It doesn’t matter if the system is fair or not. If there is a perception of unfairness, then those who think that they have been treated unfairly will rapidly lose their motivation. Have you ever been in a review where your boss has shared with you the simple fact that 2/3rd of your review isn't determined by your actual performance? How would you feel?

At a personal level, there is no one that is more passionate about enterprise architecture and security than I. I am not motivated by money or other financial rewards. Once I have enough to live on and to save for my kid's college then other considerations take priority. I wonder if leadershipManagement should acknowledge that once employees get used to receiving financial rewards for meeting goals, they begin to work for the rewards, not the intrinsic motivation that
comes from doing a good job and helping their company be successful.

I have outlined the challenges with current approaches to performance reviews and in a future blog entry I hope to provide a few alternatives...


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