Credit Union HR Answers: Employee review questions

Gary Markle's do's and don'ts

After spending 20 years in corporate HR, Gary Markle became disenchanted with the staff review process and its inability to foster meaningful change. Markle, founder and CEO of Energage, Ellijay, Ga., and author of Catalytic Coaching: The End of the Performance Review, answers questions about employee performance reviews:

Should a review incorporate an employee’s career growth?

Allowing this discussion is critical to the success of a good coaching model, but it only works in the context of having an adult-to-adult conversation about the state of the company and availability of career growth. This type of frank conversation can strike terror in the minds of some managers. Catalytic Coaching provides talking points and tools to help managers and employees alike navigate these difficult conversations so both emerge feeling good and empowered.

Are reviews strategic in nature?

At many organizations, they’re typically not. Often, the only strategy behind the performance review is the legal protection of the company. Unfortunately, it can produce the opposite results. For example, any time you reduce an employee to a number or a grade, it puts the company at risk for accusations of a discriminant impact.

Delta Air Lines, Walmart, Coca-Cola and other major corporations have been successfully sued because of this grading or labeling. In response, they have attempted to alter their approach to the review process by using new technologies or offering different incentives, yet they persist in using some form of a grading system. Changing the tread on a tire does not reinvent the wheel.

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