I have to confess: I do not like performance reviews. I don't like getting them, even though I've mostly always gotten good reviews. And I'd rather experience blunt force trauma to the head than give a review to my employees.
I'm not sure why. I think because they seem so formal and hierarchical to me and that has never jibed in the collaborative environments I've always worked in. I've always made sure my teams know that they're doing a good job or make sure they know areas that need improvement without that formal process.
There's also the matter of all those review "apps" that offer up ready-made goals and skill sets that are so generic that they're meaningless.
Apparently, Adobe Systems feels the same way. The global product services company is scrapping its yearly performance reviews and replacing them with more instant and real-time feedback. (Although raises will still be given only once per year.)
Donna Morris, senior VPHR at the company, says she noticed many grievances regarding appraisals every year. And bosses would assess a team member keeping his last achievements or failures in mind instead of the work done throughout the year, popularly called the "recency effect." Adobe is in the process of training managers on how to give feedback in this way.
I think this is a great idea, and I'm eager to see how it ends up shaking out a few years down the road. What do you think?
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.