Culture Chat

And other musings on humanizing the workplace
The Performance Management Soul Crusher

The Performance Management Soul Crusher

January 9, 2018
Charlie Judy

For many, January is a time for renewal. It’s when we set our sights on all that could be; our optimism is fueled and our intentions are strong. For others, January is the time for the “soul-crushing” experience of year-end performance reviews. It’s the time when you’ll have to take an inventory on all that we did over the last 365 days. You’ll have to highlight – with as much embellishment as possible – how you made a difference last year. You’ll have to admonish yourself for what you didn’t do, couldn’t do, should have done better. And if you miss anything, your reviewer will be sure to point it out. And then you’ll sit down and have an awkward conversation – for the first time in a year – around why you “Met Expectations,” rather than “Exceeded Expectations.” This, my friends, is what we call Performance Management.

Make no mistakes about it, this is NOT performance management as it should be.

In January 2018 we focused our conversation around this extremely important operating system in the world-of-work. Leading-edge organizations have made huge strides in turning the traditional paradigm of performance management on its ear; from making it a more regular and natural extension of what we do every day, to dispensing entirely with any semblance of year-end-reviews and the performance rating/calibration process that comes with them. I hope you’re lucky enough to be with one of those organizations. Alas, many of you are not.

As you wade your way through the muck and the mire this year and beyond, here's some meaty content to keep you and your organizations focused on what could and should be...


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