Performance Reviews – Everybody Hates Them!

As we approach the end of the year many companies instruct their managers to conduct performance reviews. So this seems an appropriate topic for this week.


Enjoy it, whether it’s a new idea or a reminder for you! I hope you find value in it.


Who likes performance reviews?


I’d venture to say performance review time is stressful for pretty much everyone, reviewer and reviewee alike. Since it’s been generally accepted that these reviews are key to performance measurement and improvement, we’ve done them. Most of the time we haven’t thought a lot about alternatives.


Here’s a lady with a different idea. Ditch performance reviews and conduct monthly “check-ins”. In these check-ins she and her managers ask 3 questions. I’ll let Jessica Rovello, co-founder of Arkadium , explain what those questions are in this 64-second video .


They’re pretty effective questions, and Jessica reports that performance improves as a result of asking them.


After all, performance measurement should improve performance – right? I’m pretty sure morale improves as well, and that’s always a good thing.


Enjoy Jessica’s quick look at Arkadium’s alternative to performance reviews.

What Made You Late? (Or Miss on Any Promise?)

Since we’re all super busy this time of year (this was written just before Christmas), I decided to make this message very short.

The article I’m linking to may be even shorter than my message introducing it!


Karyn Danielle Chylewski is one of my favorite sources for quality material to include here. This time she has a very succinct message for us:

Take responsibility, and tell yourself and the world you’re taking responsibility!

She explains how the words we use make a big difference.


Think this doesn’t make a difference? Try it! You, and everyone you communicate with, will feel better, and more powerful, as a result.

Enjoy, and heed, Karyn’s message.

What Will Replace Facebook?

Something we’ve sometimes discussed here is the value (or not) of “social” media.


Recently I listened to a fascinating interview on Alex Sanfelippo’s Creating A Brand blogsite. He was talking with Gina Bianchini, founder of  Mighty Networks. Gina believes that Facebook, Instagram, etc., connect people in a way that doesn’t stimulate them positively. Her take is that new users add no increased value to existing members. The network grows with diverse-interested and often negative elements.


At Gina’s  Mighty Networks,  a group of people with common interests can form an online community. This community will have a pinpoint focus. For example a group might be radio-controlled model aircraft enthusiasts. Such groups could also have a more serious purpose, such as investments, or strategies to retain employees.  Here’s the interview (about 30 minutes) where Gina fleshes out this idea. She also explains why these groups promote healthier chats than do social media.


In the pre-social-media world, people often got together, in person, in groups with like interests. There were gardening clubs, woodworking clubs, poetry clubs, etc. Often they were even more specialized than those examples. Some of them of course still exist. They’re the kinds of groups Gina promotes on Mighty Networks. 


By joining these groups on line, the members can communicate with others anywhere. It’s important though that the conversations remain focused on the group topic. Other conversations should be taken “off-line” – to a separate communication. They might even become the focus of a new group. A moderator should watch to see that things stay on track.


Gina believes that the best ideas come from people with similar interests stimulating their thinking in conversation and camaraderie. I agree.


The large diverse social media networks have often become platforms for spreading discontent and criticism. I recently had a disagreement with someone who was prone to making sarcastic comments in “reply all” emails or WhatsApp groups. This is the sort of thing that can often happen on social media sites. Gina points out that unpleasantness spreads much faster than positivity. It can become poisonous!


To me, it seems that Gina’s model provides a better way for positive people to communicate in like-minded groups. Some people will of course still prefer the broader platforms. They’re welcome to them!

Do You Give Your Employees a Holiday Turkey?

We all know gratitude is an important tool in a leader’s toolbox. While it’s important to keep that in mind all the time, the coming holiday season is an ideal time to say “Thank you!”.


In this articleInc. magazine contributor Scott Mautz suggests 8 unique ways to show your gratitude to your employees.


Scott’s suggestions will make memorable occasions for your employees and their families. Including families is important. The work your employees do can be fully effective only if it’s compatible with their family life. In a sense, when you hire someone to do a job, you’re really hiring the whole family. Recognizing their importance in the employee’s life is very effective in inspiring good performance. 


Let the family see that their star (your employee) is doing important work, and that you appreciate that. Then the family will be much more inclined to support what the employee does for you. When you ask for extra effort, your guy or gal will be more effective if they have their family’s support.


Let your workers and their families see the impact of their performance on you…and on your family. Scott’s first suggestion is especially unique and effective in doing that. 


All of these suggestions help your people see that they’re making a real contribution…to something larger than themselves. Job satisfaction surveys remind us how much this means to one’s sense of reward for the work they do.


Of course these suggestions can apply to birthdays and other special occasions as well. They might be even more effective if they’re done for no apparent reason – just to say “I appreciate you!”.


Enjoy Scott’s unique suggestions for ways to reward your employees.