“ The worker should be enabled to control, measure and guide his performance. He should know how he is doing without being told.” – Peter Drucker

What really develops people is day-to-day coaching: having high expectations and following up with constant monitoring and feedback, with praise for progress and immediate corrections to stay on course as needed. Without day-to-day coaching, evaluation is based on a few shots in the dark. According to a one organizations’ latest work environment survey, the lack of coaching is evidenced by 54% of respondents affirming that outside of the formal performance review process, their immediate supervisor regularly talks with them about their performance and progress.
The same survey clearly shows a direct connection to the supervisor’s ability to lead and motivate effectively (69%) and the marginal recognition and praise provided by the supervisor (64%). Not surprisingly, only 69% are excited about working at this corporation, and only 64% feel valued by the company.

In a good evaluation, the leader looks closely at how the people under review met their commitments. Which people delivered consistently, which ones were resourceful, enterprising, and creative in the face of adversity, who had easy wins and did not push for results, and who met their commitments at the expense of the organizations morale and long-term performance. Unfortunately, performance management for the most part has been reduced to the Performance Appraisal – two times during the year rather than frequent interaction and dialog between manager and employee. Nowhere is candid dialog more important than in the evaluation of people. If people can’t speak forthrightly in evaluating others (for whatever reason), then the evaluation is worthless – to the organization, and to the person who needs the feedback.

Realizing that feedback from management to employees seldom happens, when an employee sits down with his manager, and the manager does not say anything of the employees weakness, Don Redlinger, Director of Human Resources, Allied Signal, says, “…Go back! Because otherwise you’re not going to learn anything.”

The talent review or evaluation is the main social operating mechanism of the people process, so it is appropriate to consider an alternative or modified approaches to the performance appraisal.