Feature

Book of the week: Get Rid of the Performance Review! by Samuel Culbert

Culbert affirms that the annual performance review is based on outmoded management ideas and provides little value to anyone.

(Business Plus, $24.99)

In his new book, UCLA professor Samuel Culbert speaks out about “one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most prevalent of corporate activities,” said Bernd Debusmann in Reuters.com. Culbert points out that the annual performance review is “universally despised”—and deserves to be. It’s based on outmoded management ideas and provides little value to anyone. In truth, one’s performance is constantly under scrutiny, said Simon Constable in The Wall Street Journal. Yet managers who know that “they’re expected to produce a performance review,” Culbert suggests, may actually “withhold feedback when it is most needed” in order to have fodder for the year-end critique. A better strategy is for managers to give an annual “preview” and offer feedback—good and bad—along the way. “Performance reviews should not amount to clearing up the yearlong mystery for employees about how they’re doing.”

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