Evaluating Evaluations.

The article about the performance reviews raised some interesting points.  The author believes that performance evaluations are pointless for a number of reasons.  He says that bosses and employees go into those meetings with different objectives.  He says that the boss wants to talk about how the employee  needs to improve.  Meanwhile, the employee is more concerned with proving what a good worker they are so that they can get a raise or a promotion.  The author believes that this leads to unproductive meetings where neither one is really benefited as much as they should be.  this to me seems like an easy fix.  It seems as though the boss and subordinate could decide going in that they were going to talk about both of these things in separate parts of the meeting.  If they knew this going in they could first concentrate on what the employee thinks they have done well to deserve a good review, and then move on to the part where the boss says what they would like to see the employee do better.  After this they could have a third conversation where they set new goals for the employee, based around the strengths that they talked about earlier in the meeting.  This would also eliminate another problem the author points out later.  this problem would be the issue of employees not going to their bosses for help because they don’t feel like they are on the same page as them.  In many ways, this article seemed like an over reaction to a few problems that may haunt performance evaluations.  It seems like were someone to think about the system and make a few adjustments, most of the problems here could be eliminated.

I would also like to say that I think in general the idea of a performance review is a good idea.  I personally do my best work when I know that I am going to be held accountable fo rit later on with a superior.  It makes me work harder and more efficiently.  It may be true that this causes you to work more towards the company’s goals and less towards your own, but one would hope that management sets goals in a way that inspire the employees to meet them.  there by making the company’s goals and the employees goals one and the same.

However I did like the part about the two way liability.  Ideally a boss and a subordinate would have an open relationship where they could talk to each other openly about reasons for missing things or being late on assignments.  But beyond that I feel that it would improve the working relationship in general if the employee felt like they were the boss’ friend and they had each other in their confidence.  At the same time,  I prefer a little bit of space between myself and a boss.  I don’t think it is a bad idea for a boss to be able to strike a little bit of the fear of God in their employees.  While I agree it is good to be friends with the boss, it is important to not let the personal relationship get in the way of the professional one.

Performance evaluations may be inefficient and slightly antiquated, but I feel that there is definitely still some value to them.  If they are simply changed to make both parties feel comfortable to improve ideas and their relationship to help the company move forward, then it seems to me that they are definitely worth having.


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