Performance Review or Effectiveness Appraisal?

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Aug 14

Writing your performance review has never been the most fun task to do at work. And while I write about having specific facts in your performance review and ensuring you write your performance review because it protects your interests, I’m not a big fan of performance reviews.

Michelle Malay Carter in Mission Minded Management notes a big reason why:

Have you ever “made your numbers’ while slacking off?  Have you ever missed your numbers but performed extremely effectively in light of the circumstances – loss of a large client, economic downturn?  Did your managers recognize only outputs or did s/he recognize your effectiveness?

Part of what happens is that the performance review system forces analyzing outputs when, in fact, objectivity is difficult. And if you casually state that the only performance that counts is the output and not the methods you used to get to the output, you get people with sub-prime home loans and banks with derivitives riding a bubble in search of the perfect output for each transaction. Regardless of how they get there.

In Performance Review or Effectiveness Appraisal — Be Mindful of What Your Systems Communicate, outputs are only part of the appraisal. The rest of it looks at methods.

This makes sense; effectiveness in doing the work should trump cold output numbers. But my question is this: how do you measure effectiveness?