On the Fairness of Performance Reviews

Turns out, maybe tenure would be better for everyone. Performance reviews certainly aren’t according to this article:

In other words, there may be lots of reasons to restrict collective bargaining by state workers, but the idea that it will lead to a fairer system of rewarding employees, to the benefit of taxpayers, should not automatically be counted as one of them. Performance reviews corrupt the system by getting employees to focus on pleasing the boss, rather than on achieving desired results. And they make it difficult, if not impossible, for workers to speak truth to power. I’ve examined scores of empirical studies since the early 1980s and have not found convincing evidence that performance reviews are fair, accurate or consistent across managers, or that they improve organizational effectiveness….

Under such a system, in which one’s livelihood can be destroyed by a self-serving boss trying to meet a budget or please the higher-ups, what employee would ever speak his mind? What employee would ever say that the boss is wrong, and offer an idea on how something might get done better?

Only an employee looking for trouble.

One thought on “On the Fairness of Performance Reviews

  1. The boss can also hold performance reviews over an employee’s head and if the employee does not approve of unethical practices then it is off with the employee’s head.It happens in corporate environments often but public employees are paid by taxpayers and should have some protection.
    It also means enduring all kinds of harrassment and dealing with dysfunctional authoritarian personalities of superiors.
    On the other hand if I am a people pleaser then I can rise up even though I am incompetent or mediocre.Those below the radar may never move ahead and sometimes I am told the hard work and creative ideas come from the staff but the boss takes ALL the credit and therefore OWNS it.

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