Friday, August 29, 2008

Ask For Your Review

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, recently wrote in his weekly BusinessWeek column about performance reviews in response to a reader's question. In his article he wrote that he when he speaks to business audiences he often asks the question, "Over the past year, how many of you have received an honest performance appraisal that really tells you where you stand?" He indicated he typically only gets about 10% of the people that raise their hand. How sad is that?

How in the world do you as an employee know how you are doing on the job if you don't get honest feedback from your superiors? More importantly, if you are a manager or running your own company, how do your people know whether they are delivering the performance your company needs and expects if you don't tell them?

A review can be a scary thing for both the reviewer and reviewee. There is a high likelihood that feelings could get hurt, people could get angry. Is that necessarily a bad thing? There's no doubt that we have matured into an age where people in general have a hard time being real and giving honest feedback to those who most need it. For many managers the easier path to take is to avoid having deep and meaningful conversations with their employees at all. They fear the knee-jerk responses but fail to appreciate the value of an employee hearing where he or she is doing well and where things could be better (no one's perfect by the way). Failure to get that feedback as an employee or to give it as an employer if you ask me is just plain wrong. After all you hired these people and they accepted the job from you for a reason. Why not help them be all that they can be for your company - a review provides the platform to make that possible.

Here's the thing, most organizations know right now whether an employee is doing a good job or not. As an employee wouldn't you want to know whether you are making the grade? Wouldn't you want to know if there are things that could be improved in order to secure your future with the company? An open and honest review is the only way you can hear how you are measuring up and where you need to make the necessary changes to improve your performance.

If your an employer, manager or business leader....take the time to sit down and give your employees a review. You owe it to them.

If your an employee and you don't get performance reviews/appraisals regularly....ask for them.

Regardless of which role you have, the Ripple Effect of this simple action can help you understand where things stand today and open the possibilites of what is achievable tomorrow.

Ripple On!!!


CJ said...

Hey, I recognize the guy at the back of the table there! :)

You always write great, thought-provoking blogs, Steve.

Tom Magness said...

Hey Ripple Man,

My experience has been that I have received a "hard copy" of my appraisal, but rarely the face-to-face discussion that might really help improve performance. "Here...let me know if you have any questions" is not a performance review!

I think each performance review is an opportunity to talk about strengths and weaknesses, specific performance criteria and metrics, review the organizational vision, and go over where we think we need to be in the next 3-5 years (assignments, training, etc.). You just don't get this when you are handed a written review!

For a leader NOT to do dangerous. Thanks for the reminder!

kolodin147 said...


I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Effective performance appraisal

Best regards

Steve Harper aka Mr. Ripple said...

Jonathan -

Took your advice and posted it again on this morning's BLOG! Thanks for the suggestion my friend.

Ripple On!!!