Performance Reviews!

Business Week has a very interesting article written by Jeffrey Pfeffer from Stanford Business School, about the futility of performance reviews and Cammybean drew my attention to it. Worth reading. But what caught my eye was one of the comments on the article. This was truly depressing. Industry modernising and findling new ways to empower employees in the recession. Eh! not entirely:

In the Thick of It
Jul 2, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
I work for one of those companies who take these types of “performance reviews” to an anal extreme. While it may work in a start-up company or when jobs are plentiful, the .com crash has led to an environment in the company that the author has hit right on the bullseye: employees are motivated–and rewarded–by actions which benefit that employee and leave the company’s well-being off the scope. The term “team” is used as a cliche instead, when in reality, there are riffs and turf conflicts aplenty. Knowledge is not widely shared, because the individual employees know that such knowledge can be effectively used not only as a way to distinguish themselves amongst their peers come review time, but that knowledge, if sensitive enough, is a building block to job security. Interperson skills are prioritized far down the rank so that rudeness and tact are worthless, and in fact are a liability; if one can widely publicize and embellish another person’s mistake, then that’s just more ammunition come review time. The method of using third parties to give feedback also encourages political backscratching at all levels of the company.

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