performance reviews

Posted: December 21, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

Workers often end up in situations where they feel forced to make an instant decision:  a job offer, salary negotiation, performance reviews, or signing a disciplinary document.  One of my clients is involved in a negotiation that might not go his way.  I gave him this advice:  If you feel yourself getting angry or tongue-tied, ask for 24 hours to think about the situation.  Taking a day will let you make a clear decision and express yourself more clearly.

Some employers will demand instant action.  In those cases, do not assume good will. Ask what the consequence will be if you do not make an immediate decision.  Or ask why the employer will not give you a day to think about your decision.  Asking such questions will at least give you a few minutes to think about your action.  They might even change the employer’s mind.

If you are forced to act immediately, know that you have the right not to accept what the employer is offering.  It might cost you a job, but, in the long run, that could be a good thing.  Bully employers will keep asking for more and more.  Don’t give in to such people.

Posted: March 2, 2011
By: Clay Cerny

Samuel Culbert, a professor at the University of California Anderson School of Management, has written a very interesting op-ed about performance reviews in the New York Times.  Culbert believes most performance reviews say more about whether a boss likes a subordinate than they do about performance.  He uses this claim to argue against the claim that a non-union environment will lead to a more fair evaluation.  Instead of a top down approach, Culbert endorses a collaborative type of review, one currently used by the police department in Madison, Wisconsin.  Hopefully, the state’s governor will read this editorial and learn something.

Posted: April 25, 2010
By: Clay Cerny

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times features a short article on performance reviews.  It is based on the findings of Samuel Culbert, a management professor at UCLA and author of Get Rid of Performance Reviews.  Culbert says reviews only produce two results: angst and anxiety.”  Instead, he challenges managers to be more involved and not just blame those below them for failure.  He’s not for coddling underperforming employees, who should be “out the door and on the road.”  Culbert believes the right way to manage is not by “checklist,” but by a culture of “joint accountability.”

My experience with 360 degree reviews matches well with the professor’s findings.  Beyond that, I believe several of my clients who have been let go from their jobs over the last 12 months were often victims of managers who needed to justify a poor bottom line or make a budget look better.  It’s easy to point the finger at someone else.  As Culbert says, good managers share accountability. 

Follow this link to read the article