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Performance Reviews: Out with the Old, In with the New |


Marc Cillo, MC, Senior Associate Consultant,
The Japan HR Society (JHRS) | 
マーク・シリョ MC JHRS上級コンサルタント

JHRS and Winners At Work conducted a webinar that not only discussed the death of traditional performance management, but more importantly presented new solutions and more effective frameworks that can lead to better results. | JHRSとウィナーズアットワーク社は、従来型人事考課の終焉について議論するだけではなく、さらに重要な、よい結果を導く新しい解決法と、より効果的なフレームワークを提示するウェビナーを開催した

Originally written in English

     More and more companies are reinvestigating the way they carry out performance reviews and the results they are getting from them. Traditional methods are now being increasingly seen as irrelevant, ineffective and even harmful to employee performance, the leadership and the entire business. Many – including some of the most influential companies today – are abolishing traditional performance appraisal systems and are shifting to new ways to better manage employee performance.

     In support of this paradigm shift, The Japan HR Society (JHRS) in cooperation with Winners At Work recently conducted a webinar titled “The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance.” The discussion was led by consultant and author Tim Baker, Ph.D., a thought leader with an international reputation in performance management. JHRS Chief Community Officer, Jun Kabigting, MBA/MS/ SPHRi moderated the webinar, fielding questions from attendees from Australia, Canada, US, Singapore, Philippines and Japan.

     The main purposes of this webinar were to: 1) explain why performance reviews are outdated and ineffective; 2) determine the importance of shifting the approach in appraising employees from traditional to a peer-group style; and 3) introduce one effective methodology that can entirely replace performance reviews.

Performance Reviews: Outdated and Ineffective

     Baker believes traditional performance appraisals are obsolete and no longer effective due to the following reasons:

  • The process is costly
  • They take time to prepare, and work is often delayed and business operations disrupted during performance appraisal period.
  • The experience can be destructive, as the mode of communication is often a monologue rather than a dialogue. The conversations are too formal, too infrequent and usually done in a stressful environment.
  • The system requires a lot of form-filling and paperwork.
  • Results are rarely followed-up.

     He said that if he were to choose between a trainer who gives rating only in the end and a trainer who gives feedback all the way through, he would go for the latter because he will be able to receive a “just-in-time” feedback.

      “A lot can change in a month. Constant feedback from the manager would be better. The problem really is not about being costly. Instead, is the exercise worth the cost?” he said.

Paradigm Shift: Traditional to Peer Group

     Also a major downside of traditional performance reviews is the dependence on sheer numbers alone. The traditional approach is more quantitative, which is not reliable as numbers do not represent people’s perception.

      “Employees get nothing in ratings but merely numbers. [They] don’t get necessary feedback that they should be getting in order to improve their performance in the workplace,” Baker said.

     Within this setting, the process of reviewing employee performance is manager-centered, autocratic and solely based on the manager’s judgement. Therefore, the communication is linear – managers do all the talking while the employee does very little, or worst, nothing.

     Thus, organizations looking for improved results from their performance reviews should look into moving from the traditional to a peer-group approach. To support or lead this shift, HR can take steps to ditch the autocratic system and instead open opportunities for discussions with employees. Providing people a chance to talk, share or explain can build trust, give way to multiple perceptions and strengthen teamwork.

A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance

     Another weakness of traditional performance reviews is that they focus on appraising job roles and tend to ignore the importance of “non-job” roles. “Roles people play in organizations are more important than the jobs they do,” Baker said.

     Job roles are the technical skills and tasks often included in one’s official job description. Meanwhile, non-job roles can’t be measured by numbers but are absolutely critical in shaping employee performance. Research shows that these non-job roles are, in fact, included in the 10 most valued job skills today. Sadly, they are neglected under traditional employee performance appraisals. These are some of the types of non-job roles that are so vital:

  • Positive mental attitude and enthusiasm role
  • Team role
  • Career role
  • Innovation & continuous improvement role

     In Baker’s book “The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance,” he introduced a new methodology to replace performance reviews. Called “The Five Conversations Framework,” this methodology concentrates not only on employees’ on-paper job descriptions but also on their non-job roles.

     The Five Conversations Framework is effectively a replacement for the traditional performance review system. It consists of 5- to 10-minute conversations between managers and their staff, done over a period of six months. These conversations aim to rate the current job satisfaction level of the employee, uncover opportunities for talent deployment and growth, and pave way for continuous improvement.

     As seen by many companies around the world, the most effective way to conduct employee appraisals is to make the process more focused, more tactful and more relaxed than what goes on during a traditional performance appraisal. This can be done if organizations are able to promote on-going, open and direct dialogues that facilitate a timely feedback and response exchange between workers and management. Moreover, establishing a flexible appraisal system, in which the conversations can happen through various ways with a fair degree of privacy, make the endeavor easier to manage and more sustainable.

Editor's Notes
The webinar recording “The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance” can be viewed here.

To read more about performance management, read the March-June 2016 issue of The HR Agenda on Performance Management Reboot.



     このパラダイムシフトを後押しする意味で、The Japan HR Society (JHRS)ウィナーズアットワーク社と 協力してウェビナーを開催した。タイトルは「人事考課の終焉:従業員のパフォーマンス評価への新しいアプローチ 」である。パフォーマンス管理の世界的権威であり、コンサルタント、著述家のティム・ベーカー博士が議論を導いた。JHRSチーフ・コミュニティー・オフィサーであるカビッティン・順(経営学修士(MBA)、理学修士(MS)、国際人材上級専門家(SPHRi))が、オーストラリア、カナダ、アメリカ、シンガポール、フィリピン、日本からの参加者の質問をさばきながら司会を務めた。



     ベーカー氏は以下の理由により、従来型人事評価が時代遅れで、もはや効果的でない と考える。

  • 費用が高くつく。準備に時間がかかり、人事考課期間中、仕事を度々遅延させ、業務を中断させる。
  • コミュニケーションが往々、対話ではなく一方通行で、その経験が破壊的な結果をもたらすこともある。
  • 話し合いが堅苦しく、たまにしかなく、ストレスのかかる環境で行われるのが常である。
  • 用紙記入と書類作成が多く求められる。
  • 結果が省みられることがめったにない











  • 前向きな精神的姿勢と熱心さの面での役割
  • チーム面での役割
  • キャリア面での役割
  • 新しいアイデアと改善面での役割




     にすることが大切である。企業が、社員と管理者の間での適時なフィードバックと回答を容易にする継続的で開かれた形の直接的な話し合いを推進することができれば、このことは実現できる。さらに、プライバシー に十分配慮した、多様な話し合いを可能とするフレキシブルな評価システムが確立されれば、この取り組みは、より運営しやすくなり、より持続的なものとなるだろう


パフォーマンス管理に関しては、「The HR Agenda」2016年3-6月号『一から出直す人事考課』も参照ください。



Marc Cillo, MC, is a senior associate consultant for The Japan HR Society (JHRS). He also teaches multimedia and print media production in a university in the Philippines.


マーク・シリョ JHRSの上級コンサルタント。コミュニケーション学修士(MC)。フィリピンの大学にてマルチメディアと活字媒体制作について教鞭を執る


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