The Alternative to Performance Reviews

A couple weeks ago, inspired by Chief Happiness Officer Alex Kjerulf, I posted a blog entry about The End of Performance Reviews. Ah . . . if only that were possible. Since Performance Review is not likely to go away unless there is a viable alternative, here goes a suggestion.

Instead of the Performance Management and Review process, how about the Organizational Results Planning and Accomplishment (ORPA) process? The key elements would include...

~ Engagement = The ORPA process starts (and never ends) with linking and aligning employees to where the organization is heading and how it is doing. Information about the organization's strategy, goals, and performance is the life blood of ORPA.

~ Goals = Every employee is linked to the strategy via goals and objectives. The goals are not only SMART, but they are START NOW goals as well.

~ Strengths = The 21st century management theory is Theory S which says that we are at our best (and do our best) when we are using our strengths.

~ Coaching = Managers are trained to be Coaches who develop their players. Like coaches of sports teams, they focus on each player's strengths. Coaches then play to the strengths of each employee in order to benefit the entire team.

~ Recognition = Timely acknowledgement of progress and achievements, throughout the year, as well as at year's end, with a versatile arsenal of forms of reward.

Starting with engagement, and featuring a tri-focus on strengths, coaching and recognition, ORPA assumes competence, promotes performance, and expects achievements.

What do you think?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Feb 17, 2008


Great post. I agree, that if you absolutely have to do performance reviews, this is the way to do'em.

And of course the reality of most workplaces today is that they're there and they're not going away.

But to me, it still sounds like "If you must beat up your people, at least you can do it with an aluminum bat rather than a wooden one." :o)
Terrence Seamon said…
Hey, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Alex.

I'm glad you like this approach. To your comment about aluminum vs wooden bats, you touch on a great point about the thnking (I called it the Theory) behind the approach.

Yes, if Theory X is still in the hearts and minds of management, the approach will still be about beating people up.

But if the Theory can be changed, say to Theory S as I suggest, it won't be about beatings at all.


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