New Article by Impact Achievement Group Warns of Systemic Performance Review Failings

SEATTLE/June 28, 2011—A new article by Impact Achievement Group discusses the systemic problems inherent within the performance review process and offers clear prescriptive action to improve it.

The article, “The Dark Side of Performance Reviews — Why People Hate Them and Why They Fail,” uses findings from its recent survey of human resource professionals, managers, vice presidents and chief executive officers as the basis of discussion. These findings mirror an abundance of research over the last several years that indicates a seriously high level of dissatisfaction with performance reviews across all organizations.

While performance reviews have a legitimate purpose in business and are conducted with the best of intentions, poor planning, training and execution create more harm than good. Impact Achievement Group believes the essential purpose of a performance review process is to clearly differentiate top performers, but inaccurate, inconsistent or seemingly unfair reviews discourages high performers by failing to recognize or reward them.

Impact Achievement Group contends that perhaps a complete overhaul of the traditional performance review system may be in order, but they recognize that may not be possible in every situation. The article thus recommends specific short-term steps organizations can take to improve current performance review practices, including:

-Make sure managers have the skills needed to establish goals and objectives that are result- or output-oriented, not based on activity or effort.

-Ensure that the process evaluates specific behaviors and not vague, general labels.

-Give employees performance evaluation marks or ratings that describe performance against established standards—not a forced-ranking system.

“Forced ranking, poorly defined standards and other common mistakes hinder the differentiation that is at the heart of an effective performance review system,” said Lee Klepinger, president of Impact Achievement Group. “Talent management is about the ability to retain employees who perform at a level that significantly contributes to an organization’s competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the majority of performance review systems we have seen and experienced do a pitiful job of achieving this critical purpose.”

“The Dark Side of Performance Reviews — Why People Hate Them and Why They Fail” is available for complimentary download at

About Impact Achievement Group
Impact Achievement Group provides assessment, coaching, and leadership development solutions. By integrating and blending the world’s best assessment and recruiting processes, workshops and eLearning, coaching and measurement programs, Impact Achievement Group helps organizations improve leadership and management competencies to achieve employee engagement, accelerate innovation, and impact bottom line results.

Lee Klepinger
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Heath Davis Havlick
Fisher Vista/HRmarketer


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