Performance reviews can be a good management tool if performed properly or a terrible ordeal if used inappropriately. When people do a good job, they deserve recognition to encourage them to continue doing well.
If a person stumbles, they need counseling to help them improve so they don't continue to repeat the error in the future. How and when reviews are performed makes the difference between good and bad management.
- Timing is everything. If an employee does a super job and her boss doesn't recognize her while it is still fresh in her mind, she may conclude, "Nobody cares if I do a good job, so why should I work so hard?"
When an employee makes an error and is not told about it until the periodic review, the employee may think, "Why didn't the boss tell me about this problem when it happened, instead of waiting all these months? I could have been doing a much better job if I had known what was expected."
- Avoid annual or semi-annual reviews. They are "just plain bad management" according to Samuel Culbert, author of the book, Get Rid of the Performance Review. Good managers immediately tell employees when they do a good job or work with the employee at the time poor performance is observed to initiate corrective action.
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