How Performance Reviews are being Reinvented, Refined and Perfected

Performance Reviews

At the first mention of performance reviews, everyone seems to tighten up. They’re not something anyone looks forward to. Yet the idea behind performance reviews is simple: provide feedback, coaching, and share what the results of past performance mean for an employee’s future compensation and career.

  1. Performance Review Non-believers: The various pitfalls of the review system, with lessons from big companies and psychology papers.
  2. Case Studies of Performance Reviews Reinvented: See who has innovated and built new productive systems that you can adopt.

Why You Need Performance Reviews

The best place to start for most management topics is, of course with Andy Grove of Intel and his classic management book, High Output Management.

Performance Review Non-believers

There are a lot of benefits to Performance Reviews as put forth by Andy Grove, and no doubt Intel was better for them under his instruction. However, there are many people who disagree, and believe that performance reviews are flawed, broken, and otherwise useless.

Conflation of Performance and Compensation

Performance reviews are the medium for quite a few tasks that could be treated separately. Here are a list of issues that are commonly handled through performance reviews:

  • Improving Performance
  • Motivating an employee
  • Providing feedback
  • Justifying a raise or promotion
  • Rewarding performance
  • Providing discipline
  • Advising on a work direction
  • Reinforce company culture

Our Psychological Limitations to take Criticism

Judging by the literature coming from the field of Psychology, some academics have launched an all-out assault on performance reviews. Some articles read like they are determined to see them banned from the earth.

Rushing, Oversights and Laziness

It’s often very tough for managers to bring themselves to deliver negative feedback. Especially 10+ times in a row. Popforms mentions this in a post:

Case Studies: New Performance Reviews

Hearing these conflicting reports on the purpose, practice, and protocol of performance reviews — what do we do? How can we proceed with an intelligently designed system of assessment, feedback, and improvement that is fair and productive?

Deloitte: ‘Reinventing Performance Management’

Deloitte has done some very interesting things with it’s management practices, and radically improved it’s performance review system. Their efforts are found in the recent article in Harvard Business Review, suggested by Jason Evanish.

Atlassian’s Performance Review Renovation

Feeling the pain of all of the previously mentioned challenges associated with performance reviews, Atlassian did a full renovation to their review process with very interesting results.

Click the image to see the post!

Conclusions & Summaries

With companies as examples, we see a wider set of tools used more precisely for specific functions of management.

My Other Projects

Upcoming Book: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

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Thank you

Massive appreciation for who suggested pieces of content (or wrote something new) for this Edition of Evergreen: Itamar Goldminz, Matt Donovan, Jason Evanish, Matt Constantine, Natala Constantine, Aaron Wolfson, Mike Smith, Daniel Funis, Cecile Rayssiguier, Victor S, Hanna Lisa, Sam Distaso, Caitrin McKenzie, and Jonathan Howard.

Never Enough

As my Father always says: “There’s always room for the best.” There’s always a better resource out there. These collections can always get better, and I hope that they do. If you can think of anything that was missed, I welcome you to share it.

If you liked this, check out other Editions of Evergreen:Building and Managing a Team:How to Find and Recruit the Team you Need
How Not to Hire like a Clownshow
Compensation Rules Everything Around Me
Why Employee Onboarding is holding you back
How to Boost Employee Retention
How Performance Reviews are being Reinvented
Secrets to Perfecting Organizational Communication
How to Manage Scale, and Operate in Scaling Organizations
How to Fire an Employee
What you actually need to know about Company Culture
How to Interview Prospective HiresStrategy and Competitive Advantage:How to Master the Craft of Strategy
Competitive Advantage: How to Build a Winning Business
The Power of Network Effects
How Cost Leadership Builds Powerful Businesses
Why the Best Brands Stand Out
Scale as Competitive Advantage
Barriers to Entry are Confusing
Flywheel Effect: Meta-Competitive AdvantageBuilding the Business:How to get good business Ideas: Mental Alchemy of Ideation
How to Choose the Right Business Ideas
Product/Market Fit: What it really means & How to Measure it
How to Failure-proof your business with Customer Development
How Strategy and Psychology Work Together to Perfect Pricing 
The Most Important Equations in Business - CAC (Part 1)
The Simple Math Behind Every Profitable Business - CLV (Part 2)
How Psychology behind Word-of-Mouth Works
The Secret Core of Every Successful Business--Distribution
The Most Important Lessons in Sales
Why Value Creation is the Foundation of Business
Why Value Capture is the most important idea you haven't read about
The Misunderstood and Underestimated Genius of AdvertisingHow to be a Great Human:How to Start a New Job: Handling Career Transitions like a Boss
How to Master the Discipline of Product Management
The Ancient Origins of Storytelling, and how to Apply ThemI've also written about How & Why we started Evergreen:How a prototype's failure created the next iteration
Mission & Method of EvergreenFollow me on Twitter: @EricJorgensonAnd Please... Join Evergreen.

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Eric Jorgenson

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Read and write. Listen and speak. Think and unthink. Fixing the biggest broken market in the world at Zaarly. I am a Terrible Investor. Tw: @EricJorgenson

Evergreen Business Fortnightly

Timeless Wisdom on Business Topics, created from the best resources suggested by our readers. Each week there’s a new topic and a new Edition of Evergreen Business Weekly. Become a member at