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Banished Inquisition

Is it time to do away with yearly employee reviews?

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

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

"Traditional appraisals have so many negative unintendedthings attached to them, like stress and fear, and they often put achill on relationships," says Jenkins. However, don't gotoo far: Jenkins considers basic appraisal functions like feedback,coaching and career development important. But Jenkins and Coenssay these functions should be "unbundled and assessedseparately on a continuous, real-time basis."

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