The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Performance reviews – a global scourge

It is time to kill the annual performance review, for decades a feature of corporate life around the globe, dreaded both by those who do the reviewing and those who are reviewed.

It is a corporate sham and one of the most insidious, most damaging and yet most prevalent of corporate activities. It is a pretentious, bogus practice that produces nothing that could be called a corporate plus. It is universally despised yet few people do anything to kill it.

So says Samuel A. Culbert, a consultant and professor of management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in a just-published book entitled, Get Rid of the Performance Review! The book grew from a 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal which, Culbert says, prompted a thousand letters to the editor and a flood of online comments, mostly in favour of his argument.

It is not new, but presented in particularly blunt language. A decade ago, a book by Tom Coens and Mary Jenkins entitled Abolishing Performance Appraisals made similar arguments, based on a study of 26 companies where morale, effectiveness and profitability had improved after they abolished appraisals.