OF COURSE it's about Employee Feedback and People Development, it is basic Leadership Communication!

OF COURSE it’s about Employee Feedback and People Development, it is basic Leadership Communication!

With the criticism of Differentiation Appraisal Systems (in the media known as Rank&Yank, Forced Distribution and other flattering signifiers) steadily growing over the past months, I have been feeling increasingly frustrated with the complete ignorance of the people coming out to criticize. Even more so when they describe what they see as ideal in giving employees feedback; their proposals are more often than not IDENTICAL to, let’s say – GE’s EMS performance appraisal system.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that Jack Welch finally published his rebuttal addressing the surprisingly widespread misunderstanding of performance appraisals.

Who really thinks that anyone has ever been successful in rating employees only on results, with no evaluation of successful behaviours based on company values, using a forced distribution, and then – oh yes – fired the bottom 10 % year after year with no development of employees or coaching of leaders??? Really??

I recently saw (yet another) article that while criticizing performance appraisals, cautioned against “paying your managers to ‘produce output’ ” (!) In everything I have ever been taught about management – that is exactly what you are paying your managers for. Of course, while ‘producing output’ and reaching results managers are expected to lead, develop talent and coach employees to improve their performance. That is one of the behaviours that we reward during differentiated performance appraisals.

Why is there such a fear of telling people how great a job they are doing? It is essential for their future development, and it is essential for the leaders of the organisation in order for them to have a continuous overview, and updated status of how the organisation is doing.