The performance management process was originally designed to help companies collect data about employees' performance, to communicate feedback that will encourage better results, to provide assessments of career development needs, and to help identify the best people who would then be awarded raises and promotions. But through my years of experiences in human resources, I could see that annual review processes weren't improving performance, improving retention, and the development of people — it was simply an administrative headache everyone dreaded.
At Monster, for example, starting in January, employees conducted self-assessment surveys about their work the previous year. In these assessments, they had the option to choose from seven categories of performance: too new to rate, developing, unsatisfactory, needs improvement, performance met, high performance, and exceptional.
In February, managers were to review the self-assessments and start their own reports on the employees, using those same categories. Now managers couldn't just choose a category at will, however. The distribution had to follow a Bell curve, which you may have last heard about in your high school statistics class. So only 10 percent of your employees could be high performers and 10 percent had to be unsatisfactory.
So if we were lucky enough to collect executive input, by March, in-person meetings between manager and employee could finally be scheduled. You can guess how often that happened on time. Meaning: You the employee are at least a quarter of the way into the new year— sometimes more — before you find out how you did last year.