If you’ve read the previous posts you deserve a medal, and as a reward you get a summary of my views.
Despite the current move to informal performance conversations, à la Adobe’s Check-In system, I think that a formal performance review process is still critical to organization effectiveness, but maybe not for everyone.
I do agree with Donna Morris however that a poorly done performance review is more unproductive than none. I also think that regularly conducted conversations between the manager and each of his employees is very important to employee success and engagement. How can the employee be successful if he/she does not know what is expected of him? And moreover he/she is entitled to have a say in those expectations. The employee also needs to have the opportunity to explain what she has accomplished, and experience psychological ‘evaluation’ (if not recognition) by key stakeholders, especially his/her boss. But these ongoing conversations need to be done just well just as any formal performance review does.
I also agree that for the vast bulk of employees who do not have direct involvement in the development and delivery of the organization’s strategic and operational plan, and no real accountability, it is much too abstract to try to construct an MBO type performance review process. So the annual formal performance reviews for these employees may indeed be “archaic and ineffective, irrelevant, and possibly even counterproductive”. (And firms like Halogen Software may have to move away from