Knowledge@WhartonKnowledge at Wharton published a very well-done summary article on the problems with and alternatives to the traditional annual performance review. Here are my favorite excerpts.



“an overall performance management process — one that focuses on goal setting, feedback, coaching and clear statements of the company’s performance expectations — is absolutely critical” and indeed, is found in the highest-performing companies.

–Sibson Consulting/WorldatWork survey



Good managers provide feedback and direction that will help individuals achieve success. Bad managers don’t. They worry about who is at fault and who can get blamed if something goes wrong.”

–Jeffrey Pfeffer
Stanford University



“Being a good manager means being a good coach. That involves setting goals and helping people achieve them through collaborative one-on-one meetings.”

Software Company



Millennials (those born between the late 1970s and early 1990s) are accustomed to constant and instant feedback–from parents, text messaging friends or social media sites. They want the same from their employers.



“If you wait a year to tell employees how they are doing, they are almost always surprised and unhappy if the results are not positive. Humans are hard-wired to focus on the negative. So ‘balanced’ feedback always leaves us concentrating on the bad parts of traditional reviews.”

–Peter Cappelli
Wharton Center for Human Resources



“Performance reviews destroy the trust between the boss and the employee, and cost the company enormous amounts of money in terms of time and wasted effort. The people being reviewed worry about pleasing their boss before they concern themselves with delivering results to the company

–Samuel Culbert, UCLA
Get Rid of the Performance Review!
How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing
–and Focus on What Really Matters



The single most important determinant of whether people improve during coaching intervention “is whether they repeatedly ask for feedback from the people around them,”

–Daniel Debow, CEO



All quotes from
Should Performance Reviews Be Fired?


Also on this blog, Performance Review Process: Needs Improvement