A lot has changed in the world of work over the past 20 years, except that managers still seek advice on conducting. Both team leaders and their team members dread the annual appraisal and struggle to make it valuable — especially as flexible job descriptions and team- and project-based workplaces have become the norm. Indeed, a few years back, it looked like traditional appraisals might disappear altogether.
But then a number of trends converged to make performance reviews more urgent and important. The "forced ranking" craze led enterprises to aggressively weed out low performers; widespread downsizing required employers to seek performance-based justification for layoffs; and growing fears of litigation made it critical that— and efforts to improve it or reward it — be well documented. So, like it or not, the traditional appraisal is probably not going anywhere.
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