Down With The Performance Review

Companies like Apple and Zappos are killing the annual performance review in favor of more timely feedback, Workforce reports.

Nobody likes going into their boss’s office to hear a year’s worth of a “stockpiling of bad results,” and managers don’t really like doing it either.

At Apple, managers “assess performance anyway they [see] fit, or not at all,” ever since doing away with reviews 11 years ago.

At Zappos, workers are scored on how well they “embody Zappos’ 10 core values” rather than on things like “meeting deadlines” or “being punctual.”

Some companies, like Here Media Inc, publisher of The Advocate and Out, uses “previews” instead of “reviews”–where employees are asked to set goals.

“A punitive system helps no one,” Here Media CEO Paul Colichman told Workforce. “Instead of talking with someone about an incident after it happened, we do semiannual ‘previews’ to catch situations before they happen. Our corporate culture is much better because people feel more empowered.”

Other companies are implementing technology solutions. One vendor, Rypple, designed a performance management system where employees can award each other “badges” online–yes, like Foursquare badges–that say things like “You rock” or “Kicking butt.”

“The system not only provides ongoing manager feedback, but also allows employees to receive anonymous appraisals from peers,” Workforce says.

Edit: Just an update – another media company that doesn’t do performance reviews is Berrett-Koehler Publishing, a company that publishes business books including this one about the end of performance reviews. In case you were wondering.