I wrote this article for the Loop2U blog. Great blog, you should read it. Reposting the article here.

Stop Insulting Me

Modern performance review processes are insulting. They come from a manager’s authoritative perspective and attempt to document how a lower ranking employee is perceived. Sadly, whether we want to admit it or not, documented performance reviews are rarely used for anything productive, other than factoring someone out of the organization.

What’s the real problem? Modern performance review systems are rooted in archaic industrial revolution styles of accountability-driven management thinking. The 21st century knowledge worker lives in a world that resembles nothing like an industrial workforce, so why would we follow that method?

It is time to shift from “performance management” to a collaborative iteration that fosters multi-dimensional engagement from talent at all levels in the organization.

4 Things You Can Do:

Don’t Over Automate

Over automation is a function of trying to capture every little detail and trying to get the system to provide the right answer. Stop! Leaders need to automate very little in the relationship between themselves and their team. Identify the essential elements of automation and then focus on leading through interpersonal collaboration.

Leading is an Everyday Thing

If you are responsible for leadership then be a leader all day every day. Make the collaborative engagement with your people the most important thing on your schedule and block time in your calendar to fulfill that function. Yea – it’s that simple.

Airtime Makes it Real

Your people have great ideas, but those ideas won’t become real unless you give them airtime. Successful leaders in today’s era are coaches. Coaches make the topics relevant to their team a high priority by keeping the conversation alive.

Be an Unblocker

The best thing you can do to unlock the performance of your team is to make sure nothing stands in the way of their success. I had a leader once who recognized his most important function was to get us pizza. He knew what we were working on, he knew we needed to focus, and he knew what his role was at that time – enable us. That same leader removed one block after another while I worked there. From standing up to senior leaders, to clarifying the deliverable, to making sure we had what we needed to focus our talents to best serve the organization, that particular leader is in my unblocker hall of fame. Good leaders focus on removing blocks that keep their people from performing.