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Annual Reviews Are a Terrible Way to Evaluate Employees :: Michael Descy:

For years I have complained to my “performance advisors” about the absurdity of the annual review process. Part of the problem is that goals—even SMART goals—are often unachievable because priorities, projects, and clients change over time. Another problem is that too much time is spent ranking employees, which leads to an outside focus on areas of improvement. Not enough time is spent highlighting areas of strength. Imagine how empowering a performance review would be if it was focused on what employees are good at and on finding ways to let them do those things even more.

We are coming to the end of our current annual review cycle at work, and I agree with Michael 100%.

At a previous job, we all knew that company strategy and team goals would change long before we got the end of the year; most years, we were having to come up with all of that long before we even knew what budgets were going to look like. As a result, we wrote the vaguest, most general goals we could come up with, and the year-end review process became an exercise in post hoc storytelling about how whatever we had ended up doing over the course of the previous year sort of fit with the hazy goals we had created .

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