Performance Reviews

I need to make a confession about performance reviews.

I’ve never given or received a useful one.

Another confession. Since going into full-time ministry in 2002, I’ve never gotten a performance review. Ever.

It’s not that I’ve never had a job which didn’t require them or didn’t promise that I’d get one. It’s that it’s either never happened or I had to write my own and my boss approved it. A self-evaluation is not a performance review… it’s like reviewing your own book for a blog. Useless.

From 1996-2002, I worked for BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois as a supervisor. Every six months I had to submit a review to my boss of my employees performance, and every six months I received a review of my performance. They were all meaningless. (Except for the annual one which told me how much my raise was.) But I never got or received any advice that changed work behavior. It was really all just numerical performance.

During the review period, Adam increased worker productivity by .6% by offering daily bribes of donuts and glad-handing. During the next review period, Mr. McLane shall increase worker productivity by 2.1% by manipulating the tools in which he measures performance so that he can satisfy his bosses incessant desire for increased productivity.

So my question is simple.

If it’s so important that staff people get performance reviews… why is it that the people doing the reviewing hate it so much and why is it that the reviews we get are so lame?

And when did this silly practice begin, anyway?


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2 responses to “Performance Reviews”

  1. David Grant Avatar

    Great Questions…

    If you are on a super duper healthy staff team then performance reviews wouldn’t even be necessary. Within the context of healthy relationship “supervisors” would constantly be giving feedback; positive and areas for improvement. People working together would consistently be asking for ways to grow and improve.

    Most (maybe no one) has this type of staff dynamic. I periodically do a “staff review”. I ask people in my down line to share 3 simple things. What have they been doing really well? In what areas do they want to grow? What can I do to better support and encourage them?

    This is all done in the context of a conversation.

    Anyway, I think it’s important to have consistent and open dialogue. Sometimes a focused conversation gives opportunity and context for that to happen.

  2. Brittany Avatar

    I have no answers, just an AMEN! Just told my Personnel rep basically this same thing…might be fired soon. YS hiring yet?

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