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Be Thankful


In “Abolishing Performance Appraisals“, Coens and Jenkins state:

One study found that 98% of people saw themselves in the top half of all performers. Another study showed that 80% of people saw themselves in the top quarter of all performers. Other research indicates that 59% of workers across a variety of jobs disagreed or strongly disagreed with any rating that was not the highest on the scale.

Now, assume that your in-Human Resources (iHR) department, under the condoning eyes of the C-suite, enforces the standard bell curve rating system on the DICforce to keep operating costs in check and to implement the industry’s most sacred “best practice“. Of course, the ratings are doled out at the beloved Annual Performance Review (APR) ritual along with subjective lists of personal faults that need “improvement” and 2% raises – a brilliant triple punch combo to the psyche. To make things more interesting, assume that all the reviews are given at the same time each year.

Given the information above, the cyclical morale curve below was scientifically developed by BD00 using one of his patented social system algorithms.

The curve shows that the average “system-wide” morale peaks just prior to the APR; and then it takes a nose dive after most of those optimistic DICs get a dose of reality from their supervisors (whose morale also takes a nose dive from being forced by iHR to administer the deflating news). Subsequent to the nadir, the system morale slowly recovers and rises back to its peak – until boom, the next iHR sponsored APR takes place. Whoo hoo! Dontcha just luv rollercoaster rides?

Just think of the lost productivity and sub-quality work performed during the annual dips. The next time you see an iHR group member, don’t fugget to thank him/her for the wonderful APR system his/her group presides over. Uh, on second thought, don’t do it. Nothing of substance is likely to change and you may be perceived as difficult, disrespectful, and disloyal – three more items to tack onto next year’s personal fault list. Plus, these types of things are undiscussable and they’re not within your tiny silo of expertise.

  1. October 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

    The APR is indeed an interesting part of corporate life. All my management coaching focuses on immediate feedback and more positive than negative (I think the rule of thumb is 3 positive for 1 negative). This seems to work, yet the average APR is all about big thumps of feedback all in one go. Contradictory surely?

    We could also talk about how hooking this stuff up to pay and reward is a great way to ensure the work focus is on the unproductive but I’d rather have a conversation about the alternatives and the tendencies in many a reviewee to resist them.

    Perhaps we should make everyone read: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005LY2FPS

    • October 18, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your personal experiences with me Dan.

  2. Dick Danjin
    October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

    If you simply Google “In praise of Hierarchy” Elliott Jacques ,I knew him.You should find enough free data.

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