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Banished Inquisition

Is it time to do away with yearly employee reviews?

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This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

No one likes performance appraisals: Employers dread them, while employees fear them. According to Tom Coens and Mary Jenkins, co-authors of Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead (Berrett-Koehler), appraisals are flawed and inaccurate and don't motivate employees.

"Traditional appraisals have so many negative unintended things attached to them, like stress and fear, and they often put a chill on relationships," says Jenkins. However, don't go too far: Jenkins considers basic appraisal functions like feedback, coaching and career development important. But Jenkins and Coens say these functions should be "unbundled and assessed separately on a continuous, real-time basis."

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