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“One-size-fits-one”: Exploring the radical reinvention of the Performance Appraisal Process

Sunday, March 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evelyn Levine
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February ATD NYC Event

Looking inside -not outside- the organization

At the ATD NYC February chapter event, Professor Anna Tavis (NYU Clinical Associate Professor of Human Capital Management) presented cutting-edge research and thinking straight from the Performance Management revolution.

This revolution is occurring in a cross-section of organizations from tech giants like Adobe, Microsoft and IBM to professional services firms such as Deloitte and Accenture; and retailers such as The Gap and Sears, even GE and some government agencies. In fact, more than one-third of all U.S. companies are replacing the dreaded annual review with a more individualized, agile, and informal system.

These companies have come to the conclusion that the traditional appraisal process does not meet its needs; specifically: developing employees, fostering collaboration, and adapting to change. Instead of searching for Best Practices, each organization must assess its own appraisal system in light of their unique goals, processes and management culture.


A new type of appraisal system will require new training and new technologies

Key characteristics of this new system will include regular check-ins with supervisors; capturing multi-dimensional performance information, and a forward- rather than backward-looking- perspective with an emphasis on fueling future performance.

This new appraisal system comes with a crucial learning mandate: educating managers on the science and philosophy behind the new system, and training managers in the mechanics. The focus is now on both the “why” and “how”.

Technology will also play an important role. GE, Amazon and IBM are already leading the way with innovative apps for continuous feedback and documentation of performance issues.


Here comes the third wave of the Performance Revolution

As with all revolutions -some backtracking is inevitable and is already starting to occur. Most organizations still hold dear to the pay-for –performance model. Some have found that ratings, in some more diversified and frequent format, are still very useful. We are now in the third wave; each organization searching for the middle ground.


 Designing a new system

At the conclusion of her presentation, Professor Tavis led a mini “design-thinking” experiential workshop mirroring the process that organizations should use to design and develop a new individually tailored new performance management system.

Check out the upcoming ATD NYC events – there are more events like these happening all the time.

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