When you think about traditional performance reviews, it was based on an employer-employee relationship that has radically changed. Years ago, most employees would wait anxiously for their annual meeting with their manager to find out how they were doing and if they mattered. This was the official validation that employees wanted and craved.

Up until that point, you were never really sure how those above you viewed your performance. It was a dynamic that created a dependent, subordinate relationship that clearly put the organization in control of your destiny.  Back in those days, you felt emotionally connected to your organization for long-term employment, security and stability.

Fast forward to the present, and we are in an era where employees are less concerned about a long-term relationship with their employer. Employees are more concerned about their own careers and doing work that helps them achieve what they hope to become. Today, there is no longer the emotional connection that puts the organization in control.
This is a significant change from 20 or 30 years ago, and in many ways healthier. What we have now is a dynamic that requires an open and honest exchange of expectations and feedback on a regular basis to ensure mutual success. There is a level of acknowledgement that more than ever, employees and organizations need each other to succeed. There needs to be an equal exchange of value and a defined upside for everyone. That requires a partnering relationship and not a dependent or subordinate relationship.
So what does that have to do with the annual performance review conversation between an employee and his or her manager? The fact is everything. The annual review is totally out of sync with what most employees expect in terms of feedback. It is also out of sync with how quickly everything is changing and what is required to remain competitive.
This means that performance management needs to be more rapid and real time.  Anything that happens once a year is DOA. Performance management needs to be much more frequent and an ongoing process. The focus needs to be on learning, coaching and, of course, being accountable.
Managers and employees need to operate as full partners to ensure everyone is successful. It’s not about ratings or rankings. The days of an organization doing the annual performance appraisal are numbered. We should all be grateful.
Contact Us
Performance evaluations are still a key component of your overall compensation program, now may be a good time to evaluate your plan and processes. Contact me at nlappley@lappley.com or call (847) 864-8979 and we can discuss your best options. Feel free to pass this along to other interested parties.
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