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Performance Reviews Don't Have to be Exercises in 'Sadism'

It's that time of year when employees start to stress about their annual performance review, a ritual that is often drawn out and, some critics charge, completely irrational. 

"It’s a sadistic process for what purpose I don’t know."

That's how the clinical psychologist Aubrey Daniels described performance reviews to Bloomberg Businessweek.  

If sadistic sounds like a strong word, consider the controversial "stack ranking" method that some companies employ. By grading employees on a curve, a certain number must be branded "underperformers," and this, critics charge, encourages back-stabbing. 

"Stack ranking" is certainly not the only controversial performance review method out there. But instead of listing them all here, we'd prefer to share a novel idea that was presented to Big Think by the entrepreneur Jack Hidary.

Instead of creating paranoia and crushing morale, reviews can be used to incentivize what's really important to a business. And that, in Hidary's view, is innovation, rather than just fulfilling day-to-day activities. 

Watch the video here:

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